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Ruby Ostrom Thomas

Ruby Ostrom Thomas, 82, Superior, died Sunday, April 27, 2014, at St. Luke's Hospital, Duluth, Minn. with family and friends by her side.

She was born on Octo. 10, 1931, in Duluth to Swedish immigrants, Nels and Gunhild Ostrom.

She graduated from Denfeld High School in 1949, and went on to receive her degree in elementary education from University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1953.

She married Kermit Thomas on June 21, 1958, in Duluth and celebrated 55 years of marriage this past summer.

Ruby had been employed at the Bethany Lutheran Children's Home in Duluth, was a stewardess for Northwest Orient Airlines, and was an elementary teacher in Duluth. She left the teaching profession to take on her most important job of raising four children. She retired as a bookkeeper for Quickprint, was a private piano teacher and served as organist at Zion Lutheran Church for many years.

Ruby's love of music was well known in the community. She taught hundreds of piano students throughout her life. She was one of the founding members of the Superior Area Music Teachers Association. You could often find her playing piano or organ at area events, weddings, celebrations, nursing homes, and festivals. In recent years her particular interest in and love of ragtime music played a major role in her musical life.

In 2008, Ruby was nominated for Woman of the Year for the Twin Ports for her active role in volunteering throughout the years. Not only did she have thousands of hours of volunteer work she also had leadership roles for most activities she was involved in. She was a longtime active member of the Superior Jaycettes, Tuesday Ladies Skating Club and Nelson Dewey PTA. In more recent years, she was a member of the Duluth Swedish Cultural Society, American Swedish Institute, Douglas County Historical Society, Lake Superior Ragtime Society, Superior Area Music Teachers Association, Memorial and St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary and Zion Lutheran Church.

In addition to her husband Kermit, Ruby is survived by four sons: Kyle (Julie) Thomas, Green Bay, Wis.; Dale (Amy Cusick) Thomas, Minneapolis, Minn.; Donald (Rebecca) Thomas, Traverse City, Mich.; Gary (Sheila) Thomas, Bryan, Texas; seven grandchildren, Trenton, Tarren, Tiandra, Aaron, Alyssa, Cameron and Nathan; one great-grandchild, Tailynn; one brother, Ronald (Marta) Ostrom, Phoenix, Araz.; three sisters-in-law, Kathleen Ostrom, Marlis (Gilbert) Anderson and Marlene Esselstrom and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Raymond Ostrom.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, in the Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, Superior.

Visitation will continue at 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. memorial service on Monday, May 12, at Zion Lutheran Church with Rev. Dennis Paulson, officiating.

Inurnment will be in Riverside Cemetery.

Should friends desire, memorials may be made in Ruby's name to any organization of the donor's choice.

The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of St. Luke's Hospital and Hospice for their excellent care and concern during her final days.

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