May 27, 1926 – Jan. 2, 2014
Ruth Helen Durtsche, 87, died Jan. 2, 2014, at New Horizons Care Center where she had resided for the past 7½ years.
Ruth was born May 27, 1926, in Ravenna, Neb., to Frank Zimmer and Martha Almedia Ward Zimmer.
In the late 30s the family moved to Hardin, Mont. Ruth met Myron Durtsche Sr. while tending his daughter from a previous marriage. After a lengthy courtship, they were married in Billings on Feb. 25, 1944.
The family moved to Kalispell, where Myron’s father and some siblings lived. There, Betty Jean was born. Soon they went back to Hardin and there, Myron Jr. was born. Myron got a job at the Medicine Wheel Bar in Lovell, so the family moved again. Mike was born in Lovell and Ruth stayed home and cared for her family.
Ruth was a hard worker and kept a nice yard with many flowers. She tended other children, was a Cub Scout den mother and a Sunday school teacher in the Methodist Church.
Myron was injured and unable to work for a while, so Ruth went to work at Kink’s Restaurant. After that, she worked out of the home as a waitress and/or a cook for many years until Myron became full owner of the Medicine Wheel Bar. When the bar burned to the ground they relocated it to where the Ink Spot is now and Ruth worked and co-owned that business for many years.
She had a big heart and supported many local charities and donated to aid many others. On holidays such as Thanksgiving, she had family dinners on the evening before so she could have a big dinner at the bar on the actual holiday for those who had no family or anywhere to go to eat. She anonymously helped many who were less fortunate than she.
She had a good sense of humor and was known and liked by many. She was a great cook and could put a meal together out of very little. Her yard was selected for the “Yard of the Week” award several times and she always had one of the grandchildren sweep their garage and driveway as a job because she wanted it cleaned along with everything else. As soon as some of the grandchildren were big enough to do those jobs, they were hired. She tried to keep them busy with errands to town also.
On Saturdays she liked to take the girls to eat lunch and shop and maybe get their nails or hair done. They always had fun with Grandma.
Ruth purchased the Four Corners and for a time ran both bars. She had the space behind the Four Corners remodeled and soon that became their new residence.
Ruth’s ongoing struggle with depression was getting more severe and after Myron’s death in 1984, she started getting worse. About a year or so later she sold the Four Corners. She stayed in Lovell, but then after several hospitalizations was placed in the Montana State Mental Nursing Home in Lewistown, Mont., where she resided for 10 years. In the spring of 2006 she moved to Lovell to New Horizons Care Center to be near her son Mike and his family.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, one sister and her son Mike. She is survived by her daughter Betty Blakesley of Lakewood, Colo., her son Myron Jr. of Riverton, 10 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, two nephews and a niece.
Ruth’s body was interred Saturday, Jan. 4, in the Lovell Cemetery next to Myron Sr. The family gathered for the dedication of the grave.