Our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother went peacefully to her heavenly home on Monday, April 17, 2023, at the age of 90 years.
Mom was one of five children and was born in the Fenwood area to Lydia and Henry Flatt where the family farmed. Eventually, the family relocated to the Waldron area to continue farming.
Ruth had a special bond with her siblings and their families, from celebrating almost all holidays together to fishing trips, camping or simply coffee and a visit. Mom’s siblings very often would come to the farm at seeding and harvest to pitch in and help. On one occasion, Uncle Bill was hauling barley, and, when he was done, he jumped into a barrel of water to reduce the itch. On another, Uncle Al was swathing by himself being chased by two combines in the same field. Mom would always have a big spread of lunch or supper in the field; everyone’s favourite was plum perogies and sour cream at harvest time.
Mom’s love of farming was unprecedented and her love of Herb was unwavering, which translated into a partnership that was truly made in Heaven. Ruth wasn’t only a housewife, she was a farmer, from selling chickens and cream in the early days to driving a tractor on numerous occasions. Trent’s favourite story to tell is when he was a baby, Mom had field work to do and put him on a blanket on a hill so she could see him and went to work. Trent’s version was Mom forgot him up there and the coyotes would raise him on these days on top of the hill while she worked. One of Dad’s nicknames for her was “Right-Now-Ruth”; with Dad being busy farming and off-farm work, Mom wouldn’t wait for Dad to start a project. She would pull up her sleeves and just get it done or, at least, start it. This made Dad chuckle and shake his head.
Mom’s garden was always gorgeous and truly bountiful, where you’d just see her butt in the air as she folded in half to plant or weed. We always joked to her that she could hear weeds germinate and just had to get out there to remove them. Mom started out with a garden box to start her plants that expanded into a small greenhouse that eventually had two additions. She spent hours upon hours in there where she just loved the smell of dirt and plants, and her plants were second to none.
In their so-called retirement, they were invited to go to Mesa, Arizona, by one of their neighbour friends, which turned into a yearly holiday. Besides family, this was something they really looked forward to and enjoyed. In the winters following Dad’s passing, Mom would spend several weeks at her granddaughter Tamara’s home in Redcliff, AB, watching her great-grandkids play sports and was involved with their everyday activities. Truth be told, we’re not sure who enjoyed these visits more, Mom or them.
Mom and Dad’s relationship was one of love, laughter and hard work, which never would turn into an argument. Her love for him was absolutely beautiful, and, when he could no longer live on the farm and went into the home, she drove in every day to see him; Mom wouldn’t let snowstorms or bad weather keep her away. The only time she couldn’t go was when the home was in lockdown, which infuriated her.
Ruth’s grandkids were so special to her, and she would very often spoil them with fresh cinnamon buns, cookies or some other baking. She always made time to babysit them or make them some homemade crafts that were very special to them.
Well, then came the great-grandkids, and Mom just couldn’t get enough of them; now aging, you could just see in her face what these kids meant to her. She never missed an opportunity to hold, snuggle and smooch her bundles of joy. Mom loved her grandchildren without a doubt. But when she played board games, she showed them no mercy and acquired another nickname, “Ruthless Ruth”, and would remind them she loved them after she took off their marble.
In her final years, she fell and broke her wrist so bad that the nurses said she could no longer live on the farm and had to move into the same nursing home that Dad had been in. After a few moves she ended up in the exact same room as Dad, and that would be their last home.
Ruth was predeceased by her parents, Henry and Lydia Flatt; brothers Johnny and Murray; brother-in-law Bill Markwart; husband Herb and daughter Debbie.
She leaves to mourn her memory: sister Doris (Al) Shiskowski and family; sister Marguerite Markwart and family; sister-in-law Signe Flatt and family; son Dale (Cindy), Jennifer (Dan) Anderson, Shawn (Amanda), Ben and Elizabeth Crow, and Andrew (Emily), Sierra and Lincoln Crow; son Trent (Yvonne), Kyrstin (Alex) Clarke, Max and Mason, Spencer (Sarah) Lucas, Sophie and Jack Crow; Lonny (Jen) Martin, Emily and Matthew (Grace), Jason Martin, Blaize and Maverick, and Tamara (Chad) Steinkey, Madison, Harlee and Sam.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at St. Paul Lutheran Home, especially Whittmire Lane, and the staff at St. Peter’s Hospital, Melville, for the excellent care given Ruth.
A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held at First United Church, Melville, on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., with a reception to follow. Interment will take place in the Waldron Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society or to the Gideons.
Arrangements are entrusted to Matthews Funeral Home, Melville.

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