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Obituary: Ruth Anne Merfeld, 86, World Traveler and Nurse Extraordinaire

February 22, 1926 - August 18, 2012

Ruth A. Merfeld (Rohner), of Shakopee, passed away peacefully surrounded by her children on Aug. 18, 2012 at the age of 86.

Ruth Merfeld was born in Forest Lakeon Feb. 22, 1926. She grew up on a farm, but had plans that took her far from her rural hometown. She graduated from Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul as an Registered Nurse in the Cadet Nurse’s program. For merfeld, nursing was a lifelong calling. She worked in geriatrics for most of her nursing career, until she was 83.

Merfeld loved to travel. She became a Northwest Orient Stewardess in the 1940s, when it was a prerequisite to be a nurse. By the end of her long life she had crisscrossed the United States, from California to Massachusetts, Florida to Washington. She'd also journeyed to Mexico, El Salvador and other Central American countries, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Guam. 

Nothing was more important to her than her family. She met her husband, Jack, on a blind date. The two had three children; Nancy (De Paz), Jane (Santos), and Jeff Merfeld. 

"Everyone who met Ruth knew what a special person she was. A kind-hearted soul, always ready and willing to help anyone for any reason," her family wrote. "She had many friends whom she loved dearly and they loved her in return. She will be missed by everyone she touched."

Merfeld is preceded in death by her husband, Jack Merfeld and brother, Robert Rohner.

She is survived by her loving children, Nancy (Guillermo) De Paz, Jane (Dave) Santos and Jeff Merfeld; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends.

A funeral service was held on Aug. 22, 2012 at the White Funeral Home in Burnsville. Merfeld was interred at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial will be donated to the Humane Society and MDS.

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