Ruth Elaine Hovland “Grandma” passed away at age 81 (June 8, 1940 – April 12, 2022) after a four year courageous journey dealing with a rare, incurable and untreatable heart condition. She was preceded in death by 5 brothers: Harold, Eugene, Duane, Lawrence, and Roger Gunsch, 2 loved sisters: Betty Hanson and Linda Richotte, grandson: Tristan Ringoen and Great grandson: Derek Brown. She is survived by her daughter: Cyndi Darling-Alwine; 2 sons: Mark and Jamel Hovland and Durelle Ware; as well as 4 brothers, 3 sisters, 16 Grandchildren, 16 Great-Grandchildren and a plethora of nieces and nephews.
Ruth was born in New Salem, North Dakota to a very precarious family situation as the 5th oldest of 15 children to Reinhold and Lena Gunsch. The family eventually ended up in Minot, ND in a two- bedroom house. Following family tradition she left home as early as possible, dropping out of school at age 17, getting married and moving to Seattle, WA. She described the car trip out to Seattle from nowhere North Dakota as frightening. It was the first time she had ever seen mountains. She traveled highway 2 through Glacier National Park in 1957 by car and was sure they would end up dead over the cliffs of the mountains at any moment. She did arrive safely in Seattle. She settled in and gave birth to her daughter in 1958 with a son following shortly after. In 1985, she moved with her daughter to Spokane, WA where she adopted another son. In 2008 she relocated to Velva, ND near siblings and remained there until 2018 when she had to come back to Spokane for an emergency hospitalization for her heart condition. After her hospitalization she lived at the Vintage apartments in Spokane where she met many new friends until her last weeks in a nursing home.
Everywhere she lived from Seattle until she was 77, to Velva, ND, she was babysitting, taking care of kids, helping raise kids, and fostering kids; she was everyone’s Grandma. The more kids the better as far as she was concerned. She has memories and mementos from an abundance of children over six decades of life. In her last years she cherished her great-grandchildren more than anything. Some of her favorite things were: puzzles, playing cards, the color yellow, parrots, birds, game shows, Elvis Presley, MacGyver, duct tape, looking up old friends on Facebook, crossword puzzles, scrabble, bingo, pull tabs, lottery scratch tickets, the Mentalist, sending cards, getting cards, family gatherings, family getting along, hot dogs, root beer floats and crisp burritos from Taco Time.
She hated cold soup, drugs, alcohol, and family drama.
You are invited to come to her official Memorial Service and Reception on May 28th, at 3:00pm at Hennessey Funeral Home, 2203 N Division St Spokane WA 99207. You are welcome to wear yellow (her favorite color) and bring smiles and hugs (which she loved). If possible you may RSVP to Cyndi at 509-979-2906 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cards and donations may be sent to Hennessey Funeral Home. Please visit www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com to leave your condolences on Ruth’s online guestbook.