Ruth Nanette Ellinger was born in Fisher, Minnesota on January 14, 1926 to parents Arthur and Elizabeth Ross. She was reborn as a child of God in the waters of Holy Baptism, and confirmed in the Christian faith, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fisher, Minnesota. Ruth was united in holy marriage to Melvin Walter Ellinger on July 3, 1948. Ruth and Mel were blessed with 71 years of married life together, and with the gift of three children: Mark, Katherine and Elizabeth. Ruth graduated from Valparaiso University in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. She was an instructor to hundreds of piano and organ students in Bloomington, Minnesota, and was a long-time organist, choir director and handbell choir director at Redemption Lutheran Church in Bloomington. She was active in the Minnesota Music Teachers Association. One morning many years ago, she was inspired to compose a piano piece for young children (two pianos, four players) that she entitled “Balloon Pop Polka.” It has been performed thousands of times around the world, and is easily found on YouTube. Ruth fashioned many beautiful quilts for family, friends and those in need, and sewed numerous tote bags for expectant mothers around the world. She made THE BEST potato salad and rhubarb pie.
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On August 3, 2019, God blessed Ruth with a holy death and took her home to rest in the arms of Jesus to await the resurrection of the dead. She is survived by her husband Melvin and their three children, as well as four grandchildren Sarah, Kristin, Naomi and Ellis (Katryna). She is predeceased by her parents and four brothers Gerhard, Edwin, Paul and Richard. Memorials preferred to Redemption Lutheran Church, Bloomington, Minnesota, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.