Services will be held Friday, March 1 at 11 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Thompson Falls. Pastor Char will officiate the service. Mrs. Widner will be buried at the Thompson Falls City Cemetery following the church service.
Mrs. Widner was born July 9, 1918 in Chadron, Neb. She grew up primarily in southwest South Dakota where she helped her dad herd sheep on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and haul lumber to various communities. When her mother remarried, she lived in Igloo, S.D. where her stepdad, Harley Jones, was stationed in the service. They also lived in a CCC camp in Calcite Canyon near Rapid City, S.D. Ruth lived through the depression wearing clothes made from flour sacks. At the age of 15 she was involved in a tremendous school bus wreck that left her with multiple life-long injuries. She was unable to finish high school.
On May 10, 1939, she married Cecil Widner in Deadwood, S.D., and lived in Lead where Cecil worked in the Homestake Mine. In 1941 they moved to Thompson Falls where Cecil worked in the timber industry until 1963 when an injury caused a permanent disability. Ruth cleaned homes and washed dishes at the local cafes. Together they raised six children.
Mrs. Widner was a member of the Rebeka Lodge for over 40 years until it disbanded. She was also a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and a member of the community for 71 years.
Her hobbies included crocheting blankets, quilting, reading Zane Grey books, and transplanting wildflowers into her gardens. She was also a foster parent to five children. Later in life, she was a volunteer at the elementary school in Thompson Falls and went to garage sales frequently.
Survivors of the immediate family include two sons, Harley Huntley and his wife Eileen, and John Widner and his wife Bertha and two daughters, Twyla Slippey and D’Elva Tlustos. Ruth is blessed with 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Widner is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Cecil, two sons, William and Don, and a grandson, Patrick Widner.