1925 — 2008
Ruth and George Wold came to International Falls (actually it was Holler’s Addition) as Pastor’s wife and Pastor in 1945. I’m confident the delight my mother (Esther Johnson) and I felt was shared widely throughout the Holler Mission Covenant Church. The Wolds were an attractive couple. I don’t think Ruth was 20 and she was truly lovely. Her smile radiated her warmth and good wishes for me and for everyone. Ruth was there to serve the Lord and to be the best helpmate she could be to her husband George, the Pastor. In that spirit, Ruth was always young and true. She lived simple, pure graciousness.
Ruth gave birth to their first child, Mark, in the Littlefork Hospital—the only hospital in the area. When he drove their Ford the 17-miles to see Ruth and the baby in the hospital, George took me with him. I waited in the car which I did not mind as I was so pleased to be along.
Ruth and George had two more children, Joyce and Dan. A few years later George and the church hired Reuben Olson and me (8th graders) to help build the new church addition. The parsonage was right next to the dug out basement for the addition and we kept an eye out for little Danny who might come tottering along the edge. We would lift him down into the cavity for a couple moments. Ruth appreciated our attentions to Dan and never failed to mention through the years how grateful she was to Rube and me. It was hard to let Ruth know that she was the one who had appreciation coming. You couldn’t out appreciate her—George either, for that matter.
Ruth served the Holler Church which became South International Falls Evangelical Mission Covenant Church, admittedly a much too long name, with George from 1945 to 1976.
After this remarkable life-time and world of ministry, the Wolds accepted a call to Coon Rapids Free Church where they created a whole new world of ministry as remarkable and gracious as the first.
Ruth and George modeled Christian marriage. They always stood together, a solid front of kindness to all. They knew that God was no respecter of persons and they faithfully and energetically followed Jesus by respecting everyone. People wondered if the Wolds ever had arguments. Some speculated that they must have some angry moments with each other. True or not, I never witnessed, nor did I ever hear of, any empirical evidence supporting such speculation.
The last time I saw Ruth, she was happily welcoming me into their first home of their own after a lifetime of parsonage living. She and George took delight in their home. They continued (George continues still) in ministry with George serving as Visitation Pastor of First Free Church of St. Paul.
I know there are hundreds upon hundreds of people who have been blessed by Ruth Wold and who join me and Rube Olson in warm-heartedly honoring her life and person.