Ruth Katherine Brunken was born Feb. 23, 1928, on the family farm in America Township, rural Plymouth County, the daughter of Bruno and Margaret (Lubben) Brunken. She was baptized and confirmed at Christ Lutheran Church in Grant Township. Ruth attended country school and later graduated from Le Mars Central High School in 1945. Ruth was united in marriage to Donald "Norman" Jurgenson on Feb. 16, 1947, at Christ Lutheran Church. Ruth and Norman farmed east of Struble for a few years before moving to Struble in the early 1950s. Ruth had worked at the Pantry Café and the B & B Department Store for several years. Norman died March 19, 1963.
In 1964 the family moved to Le Mars and Ruth began her career as a deputy in the Clerk of Courts office at the Plymouth County Courthouse until her early retirement because of health reasons in 1979. Ruth later overcame her illness and had worked for Lance Sitzman Real Estate and Job Service of Iowa.
She had been a longtime member of St. John Lutheran Church in Craig where she taught Sunday School for several years, had been involved with the youth groups, and was a member of the Mary Circle.
Ruth loved to bowl, go fishing, quilting, play Mah-Jong, do crossword puzzles and loved to read. Ruth loved to socialize with friends, from playing cards in card club to taking a trip to a casino. She also enjoyed attending auctions.
She had also been a past president of the Eagles Auxillary, past treasurer of the business woman group E.O.T and former treasurer of the Le Mars Senior Center. Through the years Ruth had been a loyal volunteer with the Plymouth Manor Promoters. Towards the end of her life, Ruth became a resident of Plymouth Manor and in turn received the kindness and care from the staff and volunteers that she had once volunteered with.
Ruth had been involved with many groups and organizations throughout the years, but the greatest joys were being a "Grandma" to her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include her children, David and Judy Jurgenson of Montrose, Roger Jurgenson of Merrill, Pat and Larry Lewis of Spencer, Barry and Pat Jurgenson of Struble, and Marla and Denny Young of Muscatine; 18 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; several in-laws: Edi Brunken of Collinsville, Ill., Bernice Grosenheider of Le Mars, LaVonne Baack of Le Mars, Bob and Bev Jurgenson of Leeds, Bill Johnson of Boulder, Colo., and Bill Hartman of Richmond, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a granddaughter, Jill Jurgenson, a great-granddaughter Emily MaComb; a brother Herb Brunken, and several in-laws.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Craig, with the Rev. Marvin Mueller officiating. Interment will be in the St. John Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Tuesday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present to greet friends from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be a 6 p.m. prayer service at the funeral home. Visitation will continue Wednesday morning at the church from 9:30 a.m. until service time.
Pallbearers will be David Jurgenson Jr., Chad Jurgenson, Nathan Young, Dennis Young Jr., Matthew Lewis, Zachary Lewis, Tim Jurgenson, Carl Jurgenson, and Donald Jurgenson.
Expressions of sympathy an be extended to the family by visiting www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.