Ruth Lee, age 100, of Balaton, Minnesota, died on Monday, October 5, 2020, at the Carris Health – Redwood Falls Hospital. Private Funeral Services will take place Friday, October 16, 2020, at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall, Minnesota. A live stream link will be available beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Hamlin Reformed Church Cemetery in Castlewood, South Dakota. A walk-through visitation, open to the public, will be held from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday, October 15, 2020, at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall. A Prayer Service is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues one hour prior to the service, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Friday, again at the Hamilton Funeral Home.
Ruth Eleanor (Sikkink) was born July 1, 1920, to John Albert and Hattie (Prinsen) Sikkink in Castlewood, South Dakota. She was raised in Castlewood and attended Castlewood High School. After graduating in 1937 she attended Central College in Pella, Iowa, graduating with her teaching certificate in 1939. On Christmas Day, 1943, Ruth was united in marriage to Robert Eugene Lee Sr. at the Army Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi. The couple moved around while Bob was stationed at several bases and Ruth eventually earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Dakota State in Madison, South Dakota, in 1966.
Ruth raised her young family in the Castlewood, Watertown, and Brookings, South Dakota, communities. In addition to being a homemaker and gifted teacher she was past president of KDK where she also served in other offices. She served on the school board of Dempster #1 school district and was a member of the Retired Teachers Association in Brookings. She retired in May of 1980. She also enjoyed teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible school at the Reformed Church in Brookings. Ruth and Robert also spent many years owning and managing the Birch Haven Resort, North of Bemidji. Her other interests and hobbies included crocheting, quilting, reading, sketching, and learning all she could about Minnesota history.
Ruth Lee died on Monday, October 5, 2020, in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, at the age of 100 years, 3 months, and 4 days.
She is survived by her daughters, Cheryl (Curt) Friese of Balaton, Linda Ozkan of Solona Beach CA; son-in-law, Don Votava of Marshall; daughter-in-law, Julie Lee of Scotts Bluff, NE; 11 grandchildren, Jana Votava of Garvin, Alison Votava of New Prague, Josh (Rachel) Friese of Redwood Falls, Judah (Amanda) Friese of Kennewick, WA, Seth (Kristi) Friese of Salisbury, MD, Amanda (Josh) Inouye of New Richland, Chris (Pam) Lee of Centennial, CO, Jared (Courtney) Lee of Lincoln, NE, Danielle (Brian) Simes of Apple Valley, Alex Ozkan of Seattle, WA, Kerstin Ozkan of Solona Beach, CA: 20 great-grandchildren, Elise, Abigail, Brenna, Corbin, Delaney, Katie, Elias, Myra, Verity, Isaac, Nathaniel, Aaron, Benjamin, Brannon, Kade, Levi, Noel, Ethan, K. K., Lincoln; other relatives and friends.
Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, Alfred and Hattie Sikkink; husband, Robert Lee Sr.; infant son, David Paul; daughter, Joan Votava; and son, Robert Lee Jr.