Ruth Tollefsrud, 89, of Mabel, formerly of Decorah, Iowa, died Monday, March 11, 2013, at the Green Lea Manor in Mabel.

Ruth Lucille (Rustad) Tollefsrud was born Feb. 9, 1924, the daughter of Abraham and Olena (Lomen) Rustad in Springfield Township, Winneshiek County, rural Decorah, Iowa.

She was baptized March 2, 1924, and confirmed May 22, 1938, both at the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church. She attended rural school in the Decorah School District.

On Nov. 28, 1944, she was united in marriage to Charles William Tollefsrud at St. John's Lutheran Church in Locust. They were engaged in farming for several years in the Decorah area until moving to Rochester in 1965.

Later moving to Hiawatha, Iowa, in 1972 and then returning to the Decorah area in April 1991, where they built their retirement home.

Ruth and Charles moved to The Meadows Assisted Living in Mabel in July 2005. Ruth entered the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in December 2008.

Ruth took many memorable trips with her daughters. She also liked to travel to Branson, Mo., go dancing at Matters Ballroom, go camping, attend family reunions and their winters that they spent in Phoenix, Ariz.

She loved to cook and bake, especially her Norwegian recipes. You could always find her in the kitchen with her apron on. She always used her Grandmother Lomens' rolling pin from Norway to make her lefse every holiday.

She loved to embroider pillowcases and towels. Her love of flowers was apparent even after they moved to the assisted living facility. Their apartment was always decorated so beautiful.

Ruth enjoyed her bingo, "Red Hat Ladies Day" each month, along with country music and an occasional Hawkeye game.

She was a member of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church and its ladies circle.

Survivors include her husband, Charles Tollefsrud, Mabel; eight children: Cheryl Phillips, Calmar, Iowa, Carol (Marvin) Gunderson, Spring Grove, Barbara (Tom) Davis, Canton, Linda (Leo) Zeig, New Ulm, Daryl (Fran) Tollefsrud, Peoria, Ariz., Rhonda (Mike) Stepanek, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Janet Mottet, Cedar Rapids, and Patricia (Randy) Roethlisberger, Cedar Rapids; 19 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren; a sister, Shirley (Bob) Brooks, Houston, Texas; a brother-in-law, Allen Holkesvik, Decorah; and a sister-in-law, Jeanette Rustad-Stenseth, Decorah; along with many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Edward Rustad and Otis Rustad; twin brother, Russell Rustad; two sisters, Adeline Rustad and Virginia Holkesvik; a sister-in-law, Mary (Harvey) Rustad; and a son-in-law, Frank Phillips.

Funeral services were March 15 at the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, Decorah, with Rev. Mark Kvale presiding. Burial was in the church cemetery.

The Schluter-Balik Funeral Home in Decorah assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at