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Wayne Ruona

Wayne Ruona

Nov. 7, 1914-Dec. 29, 2013

Wayne Ruona, 99, of Detroit Lakes, died Sunday, December 29, 2013 at the VA Medical Center in Fargo.

Wayne Archibald Solomon Ruona was born to Hjalmer and Wilhelmina (Pajari) Ruona on November 7, 1914 in Franklin, Minn. He grew up and attended country school near his home. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at the age of 19, and worked with them for one year.

Wayne served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945. He fought in Europe and Africa as a staff sergeant in the 3rd Division Ranger Battalion, where he was captured and held prisoner by the enemy for 14 months before later escaping and reuniting with allied troops.

On January 2, 1946 he was united in marriage to Lorraine Ehlers in Hector, Minn. They lived on the campus of the University of Minnesota, where Wayne attended school, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry.

In 1949 they moved to Detroit Lakes, where Wayne worked for the Becker County Soil and Water Conservation District. He retired in 1971 and ran for the U.S. Senate in 1972.

Wayne loved to travel, dance, and read. He attended many of his Ranger Battalion conventions. He was also formerly active in the Congregational Church. He was a member of Kiwanis, 4-H, NARFE, the VFW, and the DFL Party.

He is survived by one son, Wayne "Tony" (Kirstin), of Hastings, Minn.; six daughters, Barbara Pilantz of Lakeville, Minn., Rita (Dale Sprenger) Ruona of Madison, Wis., Lynn (Terry) Anderson of Detroit Lakes, Pamela (Tom Maluski) Ruona of Salem, Ore., Kim (Bruce) Haugrud, of Pelican Rapids and Terra (Raymond) Vaughn of Minnetonka; 13 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; and 21 nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his wife Lorraine (2006); one daughter, Gwen Ruona; one granddaughter, Jennifer Mindermann; two sisters; six brothers; and his parents.

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Congregational Church in Detroit Lakes, with visitation for two hours prior to services. Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes.

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