Cover photo for Dorothy Jean Ruttger's Obituary
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1922 Dorothy 2022

Dorothy Jean Ruttger

September 18, 1922 — November 17, 2022


Dorothy Jean Charlotte Ruttger (Fridlund) was born in Willmar, Minnesota to Victor and Florence Fridlund on September 18, 1922.  She lived for 100 years and 60 days before passing into the arms of Jesus on November 17th, 2022.

Dorothy graduated from Willmar High School in 1940 and from Hamline University in 1944. She began her career with the 3M Company, serving as the personal secretary to President, William McNight, for 5 years.  While vacationing with 3 friends at Ruttger’s Sherwood Forest Lodge in the summer of 1945, she met her future husband Ray, who was home on leave from the Navy.  They were married March of 1947 and moved to Brainerd in 1949. In 1952 Dorothy was struck with polio, losing the use of one of her legs for her remaining 70 years. Her Sister Kenny “sticks” became her constant companions as she continued to live life as normal as possible. Polio never stopped her in her younger years from all of the activities that her family loved to do, including numerous trips to the boundary waters.  Dorothy was known as a prayer warrior with a heart for lifting up the needs of others, even as she suffered the loss of her husband Ray in 1988. As her eyesight declined, she became a voracious memorizer of scripture.  Her favorite scripture and life verse became Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Dorothy was a member of First Presbyterian Church for many years, where she served as a Sunday school teacher, Deacon and senior high youth group leader.  Their home on Gull Lake was always open and shared with many young people for swimming and water skiing. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Ray; brother Jerry Fridlund; brother in-laws David Ruttger and Sam Bates; and sister in-laws Irene Fridlund and Shirley Bates.

She is survived by daughter Nancy (John) Lauer; son, Jim (Merilee) Ruttger; grandchildren Louis Lauer, Chris Lauer, Ryan (Kelsey)Ruttger, Thomas (Natalie) Ruttger, and Taryn (Sam) Feyder; great grandchildren, Sunnie, Charlie, Harvey, Ana, Harper, Pippa, Tenley, Colbie, Rory and Mila; sister in-law Dee Ruttger and several nieces and nephews. 

Arrangements are being handled by Brenny Family Funeral Chapel. 

Services will be at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church in Baxter, Minnesota on Monday, November 28th, with visitation at 10:00am and service at 11:00am, followed by a light lunch.  In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Timber Bay, a ministry supporting youth in need of positive adult mentors and relationships.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 28, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, November 28, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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