Cover photo for Ruth M. Hill's Obituary
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1920 Ruth 2021

Ruth M. Hill

July 18, 1920 — March 18, 2021

Ruth Margaret (McDonald) Hill, 100, Grand Forks, died March 18, 2021, at 4000 Valley Square-Woodside Village.

Ruth Hill, the daughter of Alexander “Sandy” and Stella (O’Connor) McDonald, was born in Grand Forks on July 18, 1920. She was raised and educated in Grand Forks, and was a graduate of Central High School. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Home Economics and Education from the University of North Dakota, where she was active in the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.

R. William “Bill” Hill and Ruth were united in marriage on April 11, 1944, in Grand Forks, and were one of the longest married couples in North Dakota. Ruth was employed by Grand Forks Public Schools where she taught Home Economics at Grand Forks Central High School and Red River High School from 1964-1985. Ruth cared deeply about her students and provided an enriching education to them. Ruth implemented the first Home Economics Restaurant in North Dakota. This award-winning program offered students the chance to cook delicious food for downtown employees on their lunch hour and provide the unique experience of practicing the art of etiquette and business before they graduated high school. Her outstanding achievements in education were recognized when she was inducted into the Teacher Hall of Fame in 2000. During retirement, Ruth focused on writing, reading, crafting, and art.

Above all, Ruth considered her greatest achievement her role as an exceptional mother and grandmother. Ruth had the unique ability to envelop everyone with love and warmth. It was undeniably easy to share a cup of coffee with Ruth in deep and thoughtful conversation. Her steadfast devotion, cheerfulness, sharp sense of humor, and optimistic demeanor allowed her to build a strong foundation for her family, alongside her husband, Bill. She was incredibly proud of the lasting legacy of each of her family members.

Survivors include her children, William, Fargo, Richard (Elsie), Grand Forks, Robert (Marjorie), Fargo, James (Charlotte), Bismarck, Thomas (Kathleen), Grand Forks, Stephen (Jane), West Fargo, Ruth (Anthony) Malaktaris, Bismarck, and Timothy (Angela), Kindred; 22 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren; brother, Stuart McDonald, Loveland, Colo.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, her sisters, Marjorie and Donna, her brother, John, her parents, Alexander and Stella, and her grandchild, Aaron.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 25, 2021  in St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 520 5th Ave. North, Grand Forks, with visitation one hour prior to the service in the church. To follow CDC guidelines and to honor family requests, masks will be required and social distancing expected by those in attendance.   A livestream will be provided through St. Michael’s website. Interment will be later in the spring in Calvary North Cemetery, Grand Forks.

The family prefers memorials to the Grand Forks Foundation for Education or charity of choice.








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Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Michael's Catholic Church

505 5th Avenue North, Grand Forks, ND 58203

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