Wulff Funeral Home


Ruth Joan Clark

August 17, 1927April 27, 2021

Originally an Upper Peninsula “Yooper,” Ruth Joan Lovaas was born August 17th, 1927 in Kingsford, Michigan. She and her family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota when she was 13. In 1947, Ruth graduated from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota as an elementary school teacher. After teaching at her hometown grade school for a year, Ruth married John “Jack” Clark, her high school sweetheart, who would become a career Sailor in the United States Navy.

As a career Navy wife, Ruth traveled the country according to Jack’s assignments and occasional 9-month deployments, raising kids, managing the household and continuing higher-level college courses to add Special Education Teacher to her resume.

In 1969, Jack and Ruth retired to Winona, Minnesota where Jack taught at the vocational school. In Winona, their 9th (and final) child was born.

Ruth and Jack enjoyed traveling around the country visiting family and friends and going on Elder Hostel trips. They were long time supporters and volunteers for the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

Always a fan of Better Homes & Gardens magazine floor plan articles and having said she would have loved to be an architect, Ruth designed a log cabin which she and Jack, along with family and friends, built near the shores of Lake Mille Lacs in Garrison, Minnesota in 1978. The sign on the mantel says “The House that Jack and Ruth Built.” It was dubbed “Clark’s Cabin.”

After losing her beloved Jack in 1992, Ruth continued living in Clark’s Cabin until 2013. She then moved back to Winona, becoming a “roommate” to her eldest child, Mary. Ruth joined the local Friendship Center and was known as a “killer bridge player” – adding to her family title of “killer Scrabble player.” She would never turn down a good (or even a bad) Scrabble game and even played on the Internet, though preferred the old-fashioned way on the Deluxe Scrabble board.

Ruth was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jack, parents Bennie and Mary, brothers Leonard, Robert and James, granddaughter, Shirley Ruth and Jack’s sister, Virginia.

She is survived by her children Mary, John (Loreli), Gregory (Donna), Daniel (Sherry), Joel (Kim), Timothy, David (Dawn), Margaret (Sean) and Catherine (Aaron), grandchildren John Allen, Gregory, Samantha, Erin, Shawn, Lane, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Charles, Danielle, John Dean, Jessica, Adam, Jacqueline, Stephen, Cera, Kasandra, Jakob, Catherine, Vaughan and Tabitha, and Jack’s sisters Margaret, Patty and Kathleen. She is loved and missed by many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and countless other family and friends.

The family would like to extend our sincere thanks to the staff at Catholic Eldercare and Mom’s wonderful Hospice team with North Hospice, especially RN Sharon, who knew her well and was with her as she left this earth.

A Celebration of her Life will be held at a later date when COVID restrictions are lifted and we are able to gather to place her with Jack at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Ruth Joan Clark

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Ardis Lovaas-Smith

April 30, 2021

I remember meeting Aunt Ruth when she came to the Largo, FL area in 1998 to see her old friend from up north. They went to the baseball teams practice that they seemed to really enjoy. We enjoyed a meal together at the local OutBack, then I met up with her again in about 2000, we were at her friends mobile home in Largo, had dinner & had so much fun learning about each other. I thank God I had the privilege to meet my Aunt Ruth. I have a picture she gave me of herself & all you kids (my cousins). God bless you all & may you feel God's presence during this time.