Ruth Gaetze


Ruth Gaetze, 88, of rural Letcher, died Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in her home.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 5, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. A visitation with prayer service was held Wednesday, March 4, at Will Funeral Chapel in Mitchell.

Ruth Gaetze, daughter of Harold and Edna (Robbins) Smith, was born June 24, 1931, in Mitchell. She grew up on a farm near Cuthbert and attended grade school through the eighth grade. Ruth graduated from Woonsocket High School. She attended South Dakota Beauty Academy in Sioux Falls and became a beautician. She worked at Davis Beauty Shop and later at Shirley’s Beauty Shop in Mitchell. Later, she worked at Mitchell Retirement Home as a nursing assistant and then as the Activity Director. She also worked at Storla Sunset Home as a CNA and medical aide. Ruth also worked at Helping Hands in Mitchell as a home health provider for 10 years.

She was united in marriage with Ivan Gaetze on June 11, 1955 at St. Wilfrid Catholic Church in Woonsocket. They farmed and lived near Letcher. Ruth and Ivan were blessed with five children.

Ruth enjoyed gardening, canning, baking, attending her children’s and grandchildren’s activities and spending time with family.

Ruth was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell, the Women of the Moose and a past senior regent, the Academy of Friendship, the Mary Club and the Letcher Study Club.

Ruth is survived by her five children, Charles (Julie) Gaetze of Yacolt, Wash., Tom (Twyla Bryant) Gaetze of Sioux Falls, Lori (Bob) Herman of Mitchell, Larry (Julie Crang) Gaetze of Mitchell, Janell (Jim) Miller of Gadsden, Ala.; three sisters, Helen Linke, Viola Goergen and Karen (Jim) Mattke; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Edna Smith; her husband, Ivan Gaetze; a sister, Eileen Linke; a brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Ila Smith; brothers-in-law, Lloyd Linke, Harold Linke and Leo Goergen; two nieces, Dawn Smith and Susan Linke; two nephews, Lee Goergen and Andy Smith; a granddaughter, Breezy Lee Bryant; and a great-granddaughter, Branaugh Leggott.

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