Ruth (Roseth) Heimdahl died peacefully on March 31, 2016, three weeks short of her 97th birthday. She was born in Mabel, Minn., the middle child of James and Elsie Roseth. Ruth was old enough to carry baby brother Donald like a doll and was fond of telling the story. The family moved to Decorah, Iowa, and operated a bakery where she and older brother James helped. In later years, Ruth would be famous locally for her apple pies, lefse, and hot cross buns at church bake sales and potlucks.
Ruth was in the first class of women admitted to Luther College in Decorah and there met her future husband Olaf Erling Wulfsberg Heimdahl ‘39, from Mount Vernon, Wash. Shortly after their marriage World War II began and Erling went into the Army Air Force. He was stationed in Alaska, and they lived there until the U.S. evacuated wives back to the lower 48 states, and she returned to Decorah. At war’s end they moved to Seattle for Erling to earn another degree, and was then recruited for NOTS. Ruth told hilarious tales of their northwest adventures.
She, Erling and their two boys, Olaf Erling Roseth Heimdahl ‘64 (“Ross”) and Eric Roseth Wulfsburg Heimdahl, arrived in China Lake in 1951. Ruth and Erling’s gardens on the base were always showplaces.
Ruth maintained her teaching skills as a private tutor and Sunday School teacher while the boys were young. She worked in Food Services at Burroughs until retirement.
In 1955 the Heimdahl family was among the founders and organizers of Grace Lutheran Church. Ruth and Erling were life-long members of its choir. They donated and maintained the lovely entrance garden there for many years. Ruth lost Erling to cancer in 1985. In 2008, just months apart, she lost both her sons to complications of their heart problems. Her parents, both her brothers and their wives, and nephew Robert Roseth, also preceded her in death.
She is survived by Eric’s widow, Bonnye Moore Heimdahl, and their two sons, Aaron Wulfsburg Heimdahl and Evan Wulfsburg Heimdahl, of Eagle Rock, Calif. Ross’s former wife and still faithful friend to Ruth, Connie Veldink of Everett, Wash., nephew Bob Roseth’s widow Carolyn Roseth of Ridgecrest, and niece Elise Kriek and her husband Bart of Cottonwood, Calif., who had been caring for Ruth since 2014. Her ashes will be interred in the cemetery of the Fir-Conway Lutheran Church, where Erling’s father had been pastor and where Erling is buried, in Mount Vernon, Wash.
Memorial gifts may be directed to Grace Lutheran Church, 502 N. Norma, Ridgecrest, CA, 93555, or to the Ridgecrest Animal Shelter, 411 San Bernardino Blvd, Ridgecrest CA 93555.