Cover photo for Elaine Margaret Ritz's Obituary
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1931 Elaine 2019

Elaine Margaret Ritz

June 2, 1931 — September 20, 2019

Elaine Margaret Muller Ritz peacefully fell asleep in Jesus’ arms on Friday, September 20, 2019, at Johanna Shores Presbyterian Home in Arden Hills, MN.  Visitation will be on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 at Zaharia Family Funeral in Truman from 4pm-7pm.  Funeral will be on Wednesday, September  25th, 2019, at 10:30 am St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Truman, with interment following at the church cemetery, Truman. Visitation will be one hour prior. Zaharia Family Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.  www.ZahariaFamilyFuneral.com.   Elaine began her life on June 2, 1931 at Nissen Hospital, Osage, Iowa with proud parents, Fritz and Elfriede (nee Kerndt) Muller.  She was baptized a month later at the rural family home by Rev. Fritz Brauer of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Osage. Confirmed in the same church, her confirmation vs. is Romans 1:16 and favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31.   After serving as valedictorian at high school graduation from Osage High School in 1949, Elaine began registered nurses’ training at Kahler School of Nursing, part of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, where she graduated with honors, four years later.  During this time, her roommate suggested Elaine meet the roommate’s cousin from Truman.  He only had an airplane, so their dating life consisted of fly ins, birds’ eye view sightseeing trips or walking to movies and restaurants.   For a proposal to happen, the plane was traded in for their first car, a ’54 Chevy.  Elaine married that pilot, Raymond Ritz, from Truman, MN, on June 19, 1954. The wedding was conducted by Rev. O.F. Hinrichs, Ray’s home church pastor, but at St. John’s Lutheran in Osage.     Their only child, a daughter, Deb, was born to them several years later and their only grandchild, Jackie, joined the family in 1985. Jackie called her grandparents Oma and Opa, traditional titles from German culture.  Many other children, throughout the years, addressed them as Oma and Opa as well. Jackie was married this June and Elaine was able to attend her granddaughter’s wedding at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church.  Elaine worked very hard to be well enough to attend this beautiful family event.   When Elaine became part of the Ritz family, she immersed herself into the Truman and Fairmont communities.  She began her nursing career at Fairmont Community Hospital, Fairmont, MN. In the mid-70’s, Elaine was sent back to Rochester for many weeks of training on how to start and run a coronary/intensive care unit.  Bringing back that knowledge, FCH built an ICU where Elaine would work for many years.  Also was a farmer’s wife, she maintained a huge garden and canned many vegetables for the parochial school.    Over the 35 years of nursing, Elaine worked in Rochester, Chicago, Fairmont and Madelia, taking continuing education classes at MSU and St. Joseph’s College, Windham, Maine. She was the first director of the Caring Pregnancy Center, Fairmont, part of the organizational committee for Martin County Parent’s Anonymous Chapter and GEMS Support Group, she restarted Martin County Diabetic Support Group, was a speaker/writer for the Pro-Life Movement, Fairmont Sentinel writer and Truman Tribune correspondent.   She actively participated as a delegate to the Minnesota State Republican Convention.  Elaine was also instrumental in the Truman Historial Association start up and co-edited the Truman History Book.   Even after her retirement, Elaine was called into service to delivery babies when laboring moms couldn’t make it to the hospital.  The ambulance came and picked her up and took her to the Truman nursing home where a staff member delivered her baby. She also walked through the neighborhood to deliver a baby at a residence; right in the kitchen.    Elaine eventually moved into assisted living, then Lutz Wing in Fairmont and most recently at Johanna Shores Presbyterian Home, Arden Hills. During all of those facility-stays, she never stopped nursing and helped people as they also aged.  Although in a wheelchair, she also used this time to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as their Savior to many residents and remained a prayer warrior throughout her lifetime.  She also sang in the choir and attended every activity afforded to her, enriching her life in so many different capacities.     Her memberships included: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Ladies Aid and Kennedy Evangelism Program Trainer, American Legion Auxiliary, Lutherans for Life, MCCL, Lutheran Retirement Home Auxiliary serving as president and historian, American Nurses’ Association, American Cancer Society Board, Secretary of the Martin Co. Red Cross Board and Red Cross nurse.   Elaine is survived by her daughter, Deb Manley of Hugo, MN one grand-daughter Jacklyn (Alex) Amacci of Minneapolis, her sister, Phyllis Disque of Forest City, IA, and 5 nephews and 7 God children.   She was preceded in death by husband of 59 years, Ray, her parents, a stillborn brother, Ramon, sons-in-law, Jon Gronholz and Mike Manley and brother-in-laws, Richard, Clarence and Waldo and sister-in-law, Gladys.   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, Martin Luther High School, Northrop, Caring Pregnancy Center, Fairmont, Truman Historical Association or noted on contribution for a new nursing scholarship being founded in Elaine’s name. There will be a basket available to collect CD’s with hymns or serene music for donation to the Johanna Shores.  They can be new or gently used.
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