Ruth J. Zafft, age 85, of Canton, died Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at Green Lea Senior Living in Mabel.
Ruth was born Nov. 28, 1931, in Tahlequah, Okla., to John and Fannie Newton. She attended Tahlequah schools. On Nov. 28, 1949, she married Earl Zafft in Tracy, Minn. They lived in many states and in September 1969, settled on a farm near Canton where they raised crops and had a small dairy herd. Ruth moved into Canton in 1987. Earl passed away in 2007.
She was a member of the Henrytown Lutheran Church and The Ruth Circle. She enjoyed being with her nine children, all her grandchildren, milking cows while on the farm, having her friends at her house for coffee and birthday club, going to the casinos, and reading true murder novels. Ruth was proud of her Native American heritage and her great-grandmother was a survivor of the Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838.
Ruth is survived by eight sons, Zeke of Canton, Russell (Melayne) of Bremerton, Wash., Riley "Duane" (Janet) of Winona, John (Lavonne) of Minot, N.D., Vernon (Kim Alderman) of Canton, Andrew "Jay" (Dina) of Rochester, Joe (Kari) of Waseca, Minn., and Anthony "Tony" of Alta Vista, Iowa; a daughter, Suezen (Keith) Glaser of Alta Vista; 18 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one stepgreat-grandchild; two great-great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Cretta Newton of Tahlequah, and Charlotte Zafft of Esteline, S.D.; and a brother-in-law, Dennis Zafft of Houston, Texas.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl; two grandsons, Isaac Zafft and Michael Glaser; five brothers, Allen, Joseph, Ross, Riley and Bill; and one sister, Betty Heiss.
Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Henrytown Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Dean Safe officiating. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials are preferred to the Henrytown Lutheran Church.