February 19, 1934 - August 18, 2021

 

Thomas “Tom” William Ruhland (87) peacefully entered the kingdom of God on Wednesday, August 18, surrounded by his loving family in his home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 21, 2021 at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Watkins. Rev. Aaron Nett and Rev. Tony Hesse will officiate, and burial will be in the Assumption cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 pm Friday and one hour prior to the services on Saturday at the church in Watkins. Parish prayers will begin at 4:00 pm and rosary at 8:00 pm.

Tom was born on February 19, 1934 in Eden Valley, MN. There he attended school before joining the Army where he served on a missile range in Virginia. After the service, he attended school in Chicago then moved to Minneapolis where he met Mary Ann Heaney. They were married at Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Eden Valley on February 7, 1959. Over the course of the next 40 years, Tom and Mary Ann owned a gas station in Rush City and a rest home in Eden Valley (where they taught their children the values of care and compassion). Tom worked with his friend Bert for the Surge company, established the Eden Valley Rental Company with Linus, George and Bob, ran a hardware store with his brother George, and worked at Dingmann’s Eden Valley Funeral Home. During this time, Tom volunteered for the REC (Residents Encountering Christ) program, helping to bring the incarcerated to God. In these ways, he modeled and passed along a strong sense of faith and work ethic to his children.

When they retired in 2000, Tom and Mary Ann joined the Nomads, which took them through many southern states renovating houses for those in need. After 10 years, they settled in the McAllen area of Texas for the winter months and began working with Catholic Charities helping immigrant families.

Tom sang with the Litchfield Area Male Chorus, was a Trustee for Assumption Catholic Church, and a member of the Legion. He greatly supported family trips for his kids and children to the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Washington D.C. and Branson. He loved to play cards and other games, fish, hunt, tend his garden, tell stories and help others. He had a witty, dry sense of humor that lives in all his children.

Tom is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary Ann Heaney Ruhland and children Jeff (Tere), Roch (Gail), Joe (Marcie), Robert (Rhonda), Coletta (Allan) Wortz, Peter (Kathy), Paul (Rose) and Beth (William) Hesse, 30 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings Luella (Orville) Cremers, Mary Lee Ruhland, Jeanette (Tom) Erickson, Irene (Ross) Rossmeisl, and George (Mary Jo) Ruhland and sisters-in-law Rosie Becker and Barb Ruhland.

He is preceded in death by his parents Leander and Lucy (Westrup) Ruhland, his sisters Kay (George) Olson, Judy (Gene) McCann, Evelyn and Margaret and his brothers Ralph and Larry.

Memorial donations can be sent to Assumption Catholic Church (464 State St. N, Eden Valley, MN 55329) for masses or to the Capuchin Poor Clare Nuns (725 E Bowie Ave. Alamo, TX 78516).