Ruth Kelly Hustad, of Eden Prairie, passed away on Jan. 14, 2023, in Edina, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early September.
Our beloved Mom and Gram (Ruth, “Ruthie, Ru”) will be deeply missed by her family and many dear friends. She lived a truly amazing 89 years.
Ruth was born on Sept. 28, 1933, to Milton and Gertrude Kelly in Lemon, South Dakota. She lived in Franklin, Minnesota, for most of her childhood before her family moved to Pasadena, California, in 1946.
Ruth began her college career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, transferred to UCLA for a year (where she was a Theta), then returned to and graduated from St. Olaf College.
While attending St. Olaf, Ruth met and fell in love with Wallace Harlan Hustad (Wally). Ruth and Wally graduated from St. Olaf in May 1955 and were married on July 3, 1955. As partners, they raised four children and built a remarkable life together.
Ruth was a trailblazer and role model to young women who aspire to successfully combine work and family. At an early age, Ruth founded and then operated a successful real estate brokerage, Hustad Real Estate, in Eden Prairie for over 50 years. Together with her husband Wally, the two paired their real estate marketing and land development expertise to ultimately develop hundreds of acres in Eden Prairie.
Ruth and Wally shared a mission to serve the community by donating substantial amounts of land for open space and parks to benefit all current and future Eden Prairie residents. Their contributions included: Franlo Park, Homeward Hills Park, and a substantial portion of the Purgatory Creek Preserve.
Ruth generously contributed her time and financial resources throughout many years of service. Ruth served on the Fairview Southdale Hospital Board of Directors for 20 years as a trustee and was chairwoman during her tenure. She served as a dedicated alumnus on the St. Olaf College Board of Directors, served on the Met Council’s Waste Control Commission, was the president of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and was also a founding member of the Eden Prairie Foundation.
Ruth was a connector, gracious host, and phenomenal cook. Entertaining and spending time with her family and friends were integral to her life’s meaning and gave her great joy. Sharing her life and time with others came as naturally to her as breathing air.
“Ruthie’s” smile could light up a room, and her generosity of spirit was unsurpassed. She had a tremendously strong faith in God, our creator and redeemer, and above all, in his gracious and loving forgiveness intended for all. Ruth’s membership and close relationships with dear friends in the Immanuel Lutheran Church community were an extremely important, meaningful, and joyful part of her life.
Together, Ruth and Wally were members of Olympic Hills Golf Club for many years, where she continued to enjoy meeting with friends and interacting with the wonderful staff.
While Ruth’s accomplishments were many and contributions great, her life’s most important accomplishment was her family.
She is survived by her children, Susan Seeland (Wayzata), Wallace M. Hustad (Eden Prairie), Kelli H. Hueler (Orono), Beth Hustad (Tonka Bay); sisters, Genevieve Quarberg (Northfield), Virginia Kelly (Wilmington, North Carolina), Joan Kelly (St. Paul); eight grandchildren, Anders Seeland (Wayzata), Kirsten Seeland Sherline (Mill Valley, California), Maren Seeland (St. Louis Park), Drew Hueler (Orono), Griffen Hueler (Orono), Payton Hueler (Big Sky, Montana), Matt Simenstad (Minneapolis), Stephanie Griffin (Richfield); seven great-grandchildren; niece Sarah Kelly Sullivan and mother of Ruth’s two great-grand-nephews (Edina). All of Ruth’s nieces and nephews were always loved as part of her immediate family.
Ruth believed strongly in making an impact for good on the people and places around her. Her generous, faithful, and loving presence positively impacted many and allowed Ruth to accomplish so much through her support, kindness, and commitment to service. Ruth’s memory will live on through her family, friends, and all those she touched.
Celebration of Life Memorial: April 29 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie.
Comments aren’t allowed on our site, but we do offer several ways to provide feedback, and have your voice heard. If you believe the story has an error, or would like to get in touch with the author, please contact us. If you would like to respond directly to this article, we welcome and encourage Letters To the Editor. You can find details on how to submit a letter on our contact page.