April 23, 2014


Mary Ruth Baldus, 95, of Fairmont, Minn., and formerly of Carroll, died Sunday, April 20, at the Fairmont Medical Center in Fairmont.

Mass of the Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 25, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Carroll. Celebrant will be the Rev. Timothy Johnson, and concelebrants will be the Revs. Sunny Dominic and Brian Hughes. Lectors will be John Steffes, David Baldus and Henry Blake. Music will be by Mary Ruth's family. Casket bearers will be Donald Baldus, James Baldus, David Baldus, Phillip Baldus, Jeffrey Baldus and Paul Baldus. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Carroll.

Visitation will begin at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Ohde Twit Funeral Home in Carroll, where there will be a prayer service at 7 p.m. with Sister Mary Jo Baldus, RSM, harp. Visitation will resume at 9:30 .m. Friday at the church. Memorials may be made to Kuemper Catholic Schools.

Mary Ruth was born Jan. 30, 1919, on a farm in the bluffs above the Mississippi River near DeSoto, Wis. She was the fourth of eight children born to Sam G. and Ida (Eike) Olson.

Mary Ruth left home to attend high school in La Crosse, Wis., and then earned her B.A. degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Mary Ruth's first teaching position was in Riceville, Iowa, where she taught junior and senior English and Latin and coached the junior and senior class plays. During WWII she was asked to add the position of high school principal to her job description.

After the war Francis Baldus was hired as the new vocational agriculture teacher. They married in 1948 and moved to Sibley, Iowa, and new teaching jobs.

Mary Ruth stayed home with her seven children until the family moved to Carroll, Iowa, in 1965. She taught junior high English at Holy Spirit School, retiring in 1982.

She and Francis then spent winters in Florida, traveled to Europe, and continued cheering at Kuemper and Iowa State games. She volunteered many years at Holy Spirit and in the Carroll community before moving to Goldfinch Estates in Fairmont, Minn., in 2007.

Mary Ruth will be remembered for her lovely cross stitch pieces, her many letters, her love of books, her educational influence, her deep faith, and her example of endless giving and praying.

She is survived by her sister Sue Starshak of Chicago, Ill., brother John Olson of Denver, Colo., sister-in-law Elaine Olson of Grove, Okla., sister-in-law Norma Olson of Viroqua, Wis., sister-in-law Joanne Baldus of Story City, Iowa, sister-in-law Dorothy Hammond of Ames, Iowa; many nieces and nephews; seven children: Mary (Henry Blake) of Minnetonka, Minn., Donald of Rochester, Minn., James (Amy Dougherty) of Mound, Minn., David (Remy) of Ames, Iowa, Phillip (Lynn) of St. Ansgar, Iowa, Jeffrey of Sioux City, Iowa, and Paul (Deb) of Fairmont, Minn.; nine grandchildren: Jenna, Sam and Alex Blake, Nina (Todd Christianson), Rory Bork, Dustin and Joshua Baldus, Theo and Kira Baldus; and three great-grandchildren: Addelay, Bennett and Cullen Christianson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, five siblings, and husband Francis.