Strader exhibited love of country [UPDATED]Published 4:45am Monday, July 1, 2013 Updated 6:46am Monday, July 1, 2013
Even in death Ruth Strader put love of country above any personal recognition for herself. This was evident this past Monday during the funeral for the VFW Post 612 Auxiliary charter member at Our Lady of Victory Church, Fergus Falls.
It was wonderful to see auxiliary members, honorary casket bearers, file into the church and sit among the front rows during the service.
There was not one, but two patriotic hymns sung during the service. Members of the congregation sang with pride and emotion during the playing of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful.”
Strader, 86, of Fergus Falls, died June 15.
As a member of the VFW Post 612 Auxiliary, she took pride in being a part of the Drill Team and the Heritage Group.
With her love of country and active participation in church activities, it wasn’t a surprise to see that memorials were designated to Our Lady of Victory Catholic School and the Minnesota Veterans Home, Fergus Falls.
“Ruth did many things for many people,” said Sandy Carpenter, principal of Our Lady of Victory School. “One that comes to mind rather quickly is her participation in Adopt a Class. She was a very generous person, even providing individual gifts to each student.”
World War II veteran Sonny Mjelde has attended many funerals over the years. He said that Strader’s service was one of, if not the most, patriotic of those he has attended.
Keep in mind that Strader was 15 years old when the Japanese attacked United States forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941.
She was a part of what many historians refer to as “the Greatest Generation.”
On April 6, 1947, she married Delbert “Jim” Strader. The couple made their home in Fergus Falls where she worked as a secretary for Ottertail Co-Op Oils, then Skogmo Motors.
In 1951 she began working at the state hospital, later known as the Regional Treatment Center. Ruth served in the medical records department, retiring in 1986.
Strader and other auxiliary members all across the nation were and are proud to be part of an organization that was established in 1914. The commitment is to serve the veterans of this country and honor the sacrifices of every man and woman who has served in uniform.
For me, I’ll always remember Ruth as a member of the Our Lady of Victory Church choir of which my late father, Roy, also was a member.
While singing “America the Beautiful” during Ruth’s funeral, the words that especially resonated with me were, “And crown thy good with brotherhood , from sea to shining sea.”
I can’t help but think that if politicians and their constituents would truly think about those words, there might be less selfishness and more understanding in which to make this country a better place in which to live.
I believe that Ruth Strader would be in agreement.
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This is the time of year to take the opportunity to visit Inspiration Peak in southeastern Otter Tail County, near Urbank.
The late Sauk Centre native and Nobel Prize-winning author, Sinclair Lewis would be pleased to know that many area residents still trek up the hill to what was one of his most favorite places in Minnesota. Lewis, best known for his book, “Main Street,” enjoyed coming many times to the crest of the hill.
The quarter-mile hike to the top of Inspiration Peak can be a light workout, but there are benches along the way if hikers want to stop and rest. On a clear day you can see 20 to 30 miles.
Inspiration Peak rises 1,700 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest points in Minnesota.
Take the time to travel to this area of Otter Tail County. You’ll have many good memories for years to come.