Ruth Mildred Bye, 98, died Saturday, January 12, 2013 at Wood Dale Nursing Home in Redwood Falls. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2013 from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Burial will follow in the Lake Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield. Visitation will be held Friday, January 18, 2013, from 4-7 p.m. at Nelson-Martin Funeral Home in Redwood Falls and will continue on Saturday at the church for one hour prior to services.
Arrangements are with Nelson-Martin Funeral Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via
Ruth Mildred (Sweeney) Bye was the first daughter born on June 18, 1914 to Edward James and Amelia Mildred (Seith) Sweeney. She and her sisters, Mary, Lucille, Beatrice and Margaret were born and raised in Northfield, MN. Their grandparents were Frederick Carl and Carolina (Roth) Seith. Ruth was baptized and confirmed at the Moravian Church of Northfield, MN. After graduating from high school in 1932, she attended St. Olaf College where she met and married Alden Rudolph Bye. They were married on November 16, 1935. To this marriage four children were born, James, Ruth Ann, Sandra and Beverly. In 1939, they moved to Litchfield, MN where they became members of Zion Lutheran Church.
Besides being a busy mother, she was active in church, school and community affairs. Ruth held offices in P.T.A., Women’s Study Club, Red Cross drives and served ten years as Girl Scout Commissioner. In 2008, she received recognition of fifty years as a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs for dedication and service to her club and community.
The 1950’s started her interest in politics, serving as Meeker County Democratic Party Chairwoman for ten years. She helped organize “Women for Humphrey” coffee parties throughout the state. She worked for him for twenty-five years.
In 1958, she was the first woman in Meeker County to run for State Representative.
Helping others and volunteering her time was very important. She worked hard to get busing for physically and mentally handicapped children.
In 1983, her husband, Alden, passed away and she moved to Redwood Falls to be close to her daughter and son. She enjoyed working at Miller’s Jewelry Store and the Wishing Well. Volunteering at the Redwood High School and being a part of Friends of the Hospital were also very rewarding.
Ruth Bye died Saturday evening, January 12, 2013 at the Wood Dale Nursing Home. She had gracefully attained the age of 98 years.
Ruth is survived by her daughter Sandra (Lee) Schrank, her sister Lucille Sohns of Door County, WI, and her son-in-law Darryl Hanssen of Brainerd, MN. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren, a niece, and two nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Alden; her children: James Bye, Ruth Ann Hanssen, and Beverley Blaha; son-in-laws: Richard Piepenburg and Gary Blaha; grandson, Joshua Blaha; and sisters: Margaret Sweeney, Mary Keeler, and Beatrice Nervig.