Ruth Marie (Wheat) Gogolin, age 89, passed away quietly at her home on June 28th, 2018. Ruth was born on January 5th, 1929 to Roy and Martha (Wilson) Weese in Huron, South Dakota. She moved to Minnesota in the late 1950’s.
She worked as a Pastry Cook at Birkeland’s Bay Lake Lodge until she took a position at the Brainerd State Hospital. There, she worked for the State of Minnesota for 25 years as a Human Services Technician until her retirement in 1993.
Upon retiring she found that traveling opened a whole new world to her and enjoyed Mystery Tours set up by PTS. She enjoyed it so much, she actually went on 24 Mystery Tours in the US, and 4 International Tours that included; Iceland, Italy, Europe, and Turkey. When she went to Turkey and called her daughter to let her know where she was, her daughter was shocked and wanted her to return to the States immediately! (Typical of Ruth’s independence, she didn’t listen)
Always one to support good community, she loved to volunteer and her volunteer hours after retirement often tended to be more than when she worked full time for the State. She was a lifetime member of the AFSCME (and proud of it!), A Board Member and Volunteer with RSVP, a volunteer at Bethany Good Samaritan, Secretary for The American Legion, A Member of the City of Brainerd Library Board, A Board Member for the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library (where she Co-Chaired the Friends book sales with her good friend Rita Hamann for over 15 years), a volunteer and once Board Member at The Center where she frosted donuts every Thursday morning for 18 years before she stepped down in 2015, although she continued to volunteer in other ways with The Center every week. It came as no surprise to anyone when she received the Crow Wing County Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year in 2000. She was a ball of energy and drive, and an inspiration to many.
In addition to the Volunteer of the Year award, she received numerous certificates in recognition of her contributions to our community, including the Community Service Award from the Minnesota State Retiree Council, Volunteer recognition with the St Joseph’s Hospice, Crow Wing County Volunteer of The Month (several times) and in 2017 she was awarded The Stand Out Friend award from the Minnesota Library Association of Friends.
She is survived by her loving daughters, June (Jay) Schelde and Chandra Griggs, a son, Bernard Wheat, 7 Grandchildren and 11 Great Grandchildren, as well as a plethora of Friends. (Ruth did nothing small). She was preceded in death by two husbands, Bernard Wheat and Harold Gogolin, her parents, and one son, David Allen. Ruth’s interment will be with her family in Huron, SD.
Ruth will be remembered for her generous giving of time, her love of family, friends, books, and that smile. Upon her retirement, Eric and Tam (PTS), her friends with The Center and with the Library, impacted her greatly. She thrived whenever she could be with them and for this, her family is forever grateful for what these people did to impact Ruth’s later years in so many positive ways. In lieu of flowers, it is asked that contributions be made to one of Ruth’s two favorite non-profits that she loved dearly, The Brainerd Public Library and The Center in Brainerd.
Ruth never wanted a funeral, she wanted people to be happy, not sad. Please join us for her Celebration of Life on Tuesday July 10th at 1:00 pm at The Center. A light lunch will be served at 2 pm, which will of course include donuts.