Condolences for Ruth Pauline Hjelmeland Monson

Ruth was one of those lofty souls whose unique dedication to justice and peace serviced to inspire all of us at SABEEL. And even though she knew much of the injustice and violence in the world, she never lost the Christian perspective, which shone from the depths of her very warm personality. Her steadfast efforts for the cause of Palestine, even throughout her illness, and up to the final days, amazed me. She was steady as a rock on that issue. She has done her part for the transformation of God's world. Now we must continue without her, knowing her spirit will be with us, now and forever. Salaam it'rasku (in Arabic: May God grant you blessings and consolation in your loss).
From Sister Elaine Kelley

For the rest of my years, I will have warm memories of Ruth. She was always gracious, pleasant, and interesting and truly a special person to admire; knowing her made a difference in my life as it would have in many lives. As a newcomer she made me feel at home in Norway and fortunate for me, our friendship continued even though we moved to different parts of the world. My condolences to your wonderful and loving family.
From Sandra Starr, Chester, IL

John, Tom and Family, Our hearts go out to your family. We were very sorry to hear of Ruth's passing. She will be always remembered as a warm, loving, wonderful lady. Thank you so much for visiting us in Norway. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruth's family during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Ruth.
From Frode and Sana Hjelmeland

May our Lord Jesus comfort you in this sorrowful time, and yet know all his children will be reunited with HIm one day. I have many fond memories sharing time with Tom and the Monson family in Tripoli. Mrs. Monson made awesome pies , let me "play " on their piano. There were great trips to Leptis Magna and Djerba and Little league games and on and on. She had a gentle spirit and will be missed.

Something went mighty right, some coincidences or plans worked to get all of us in the same place, Libya, at the same time and allowed us to share what has proven to be a lifetime connection to each other. Even now, some thirty years after we were 'disconnected', we look back at who we knew there and what we had there with comfort and pleasure. Ruth was so at the center of that life that to think of those times, she comes to mind. My condolences to John and the kids for their loss--it has proven to be a loss to others also. We will miss Ruth, her brightness and her activities------
From Jim Smith

John and Family, Our hearts go out to you in Ruth's passing. Our time with you and Ruth has been brief but we feel we knew her well from those meetings and the stories that our son Joe has related to us. Her love for the Lord and His creation were evident and He blessed you all richly in the time you had together and especially in the lives that were touched around the world. A life well lived ! You are in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings George and Anita
From George and Anita Lawrence

Our hearts go out to your family. We loved Ruth so much. She had the most gentle heart and kind spirit. She is with the angels now and they are rejoicing. God Bless.
From Curt and Candace Franklin

John and Family, You are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. You and Ruth have always been a pillar in our English Lutheran family. We have been so very blessed to have been given the opportunity to get to know you through ELC! You are an extraordinary couple and role model for so many families. God Bless all of you as God welcomes Ruth home. She will be greatly missed...but never forgotten. In friendship, Amy & Judd Hanson family
From Amy & Judd Hanson family

On behalf of the sister city board in Forde, I want express our condolences. We will always remember her genuine interests for her Norwegian heritage, and her vibrant commitment every time we visited on vocational exchange from Førde. She always loved to ask about her relatives and was interested in us. In loving memory of her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you John, kids and family. Øystein Kirkeli President La Crosse - Førde - Friendship - Assosiation
From Øystein Kirkeli LFFA President

I weep for Ruth’s family at their huge loss. I rejoice with Ruth’s family that they had so many good years with Ruth. I rejoice with Ruth that she is now enjoying the eternal reward which I am certain she has earned. She was a lady of grace, beauty, compassion, prayer and elegance. She did not put on airs – she was simply the epitome of goodness and love. Rest in peace Ruth. We will miss you very much.
From Diane Monson Hayden

Dear John and family, Dean and I were so saddened to hear of Ruth's passing. What a wonderful gift she was able to leave with the opening up her home and displaying all her love for the people of the middle east. I only wish we could have been there to see the "museum of Love". She was such an inspiring individual in so many ways to so many. Her dedication to something she loved, her strength to keep going in the midst of discomfort, her determination to do what she needed to do, all so very inspiring to so many. God's grace and comfort be with you and the family now as you remember all the beautiful memories of love and devotion. Peace and Love in Christ Jesus, Pat and Dean
From Pat and Dean Wilder

We remember Ruth especially as the mother of our wonderful son-in-law Tom. Also, we remember Ruth as a matriarch who did so many things to pass on to her children and grandchildren your precious Norwegian heritage. Our sympathy to you John and your family. Ruth was an important part of all your lives and you will greatly miss her. (As Jesus comforted his disciples, may these words give you comfort.) John 14:1-3: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so , I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
From Don and Mary Johnson

Dear John, Kris, Martha, Tom, and families, We want to send our deepest condolences to all of you. Ruth was a very special person that always brought sunshine into anyone's day! We hold such fond memories of Tripoli and OCS, and your family was an important part of the communities of both. We know this is a difficult time for you, and our prayers go out to you.
From Terry and Gretchen (Helmke) Weakley

We all will miss Ruth.. she glowed with kindness, strength,love and peace. That glow, though transformed, stays with us close at heart. Our daughters have heard many awe inspired recounts of Ruth and her worldly view... a view, a panorama of inclusive breadth... not distinguishing heaven from earth. Especially to John, bathe in all these condolences of friends and the deep love of your children... glad to have spoken with you and Ruth at the wedding last September.
From Jim Stewart, Sandy Roggow, Maree & Maddy

I have very find memories of Ruth from my time teaching in Norway in the mid 1980's. She always had a warm smile and greeting for me when I saw her at school or shopping in the market on Saturday mornings. I especially remember her enjoying our Mexican pot luck party at my house for the fun Eurovision Song Contest. She loved a fun party and being with people in social settings. My warm condolences are extended to John and the rest of the family. Matthew Flinchum, Kobe, Japan
From Matthew Flinchum

John, I'm so glad I got to talk to you last week and was able to pass along my prayers for you and Ruth - and, of course, your family. I'm saddened by Ruth's passing but believe that her strong faith sustained her through the many struggles, and now she has joined her Lord in heaven. Reading her obituary brought wonderful memories of the short period I worked with her and filled in the many years for which I can only imagine her many joys all she accomplished. She will be missed. While I cannot be there in person for the services, I will be there in spirit. You and Ruth have played a very important role in my professional life. I admired the devotion you had to each other. Talking to you reminded me of your quiet, appreciative nature. You celebrated Ruth's life with me. I thank you so much for that. God bless you all. Debba Robinson Sekou Laconia, NH
From Debba Robinson Sekou

I met Ruth at a Seder at English three years ago and treasure the time I shared with her. She was an insightful participant in the "Praying the Scriptures" group that I led, and always very thoughtful about sharing when I offered something in worship that touched her. I loved listening to her stories about her time abroad. I admire and hope to emulate her clear dedication to faith, her abundant love of others, and her passion for justice. As the disease took more of a toll, it was an honor to sit and pray with her. Please accept my condolences for your tremendous loss.
From Rachel Slough

I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't know Ruth well, but when I did see her, she impressed me with her grace, courage and intelligence. I pray that your memories of this remarkable woman will give you comfort and peace.
From Jeannine Rude

Kris and family, I was so saddened to hear about the loss of your mother, Ruth. What a special woman she was, so full of love and adventure. She shared that passion with all of you and how lucky you have been to have had such a remarkable woman in your lives. You will carry her in your hearts and find solace in your many memories of special times spent together. Thinking of you and sending much love and hugs. Barb Ingebritson
From Barb Ingebritson

John and Family, Ben joins me in extending our sincere sympathy to all of you. I have clear memories of Ruth, especially her welcoming smile and the twinkle in her eyes. She was a very comfortable person. Wishing you many warm memories to carry with you always. You're in our prayers. With sympathy, Ben and Sarah
From Sarah Ekeren Buck

We are so sorry to learn of Ruth's death. She was such a vibrant woman, always interested in individual people as well as history, politics and culture. A fond memory of mine is being a flower girl at Ruth and John's wedding. We send our prayers and sympathy to Ruth's family.
From Richard and Dorothy Thomas

Dear John, Kristine, Paul, Martha, George, Tom, and Ann, Lori and I wanted to write to first and foremost apologize for not being able to come and mourn the passing of Ruth with you. As you know, Mom has been at our home quite a bit recently to help my recovery, so we’ve had regular updates about the last several weeks. I write this sitting under a print that Ruth and John gave me many years ago of our family farm in Norway. I’ll not forget being welcomed to Norway by Ruth and John in Stavanger on our family trip when I was 17. We did a hike on our second day in country back to a beautiful waterfall and we stayed at a beautiful B&B on a fjord the very next day thanks to them. While I was too young to appreciate it, that first few days of the trip have always stayed with me as a reminder of the beauty of Norway and the heritage we share. Ruth did a wonderful job keeping a window open for our generation to our grandmother. Both women were innovators and travelers, both willing to not be constrained by convention, and both (in their own way) were great examples for the next generation of Hjelmelands and Kristiansens here in America. Never absent from a family event, she was a voice for grandma, and a great example in her own right to our generation of the possibilities that life holds. Lastly, I don’t know that anyone can fully appreciate the work she did documenting our family history. As time goes on, our sons and grandkids will know better than most of what it meant to come to this country in the early 20th century. Providing this insight to a time gone by is a wonderful gift. So while we’re not there in person, know that we’re there in spirit. Our hearts go out to your families and know that this is a sad day for many throughout the world. Be well and god bless, Derek, Lori, Riley and Garrett.
From Derek and Lori Janu-Chossek

Greetings from Whitehall, WI. We send our condolences to the family of Ruth Monson. I remember her smile, and fondly remember Mr. Monson when he was at Whitehall Memorial High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
From David & Dawn Hegge