May 19, 2023

Betty Elaine Ruskamp, wife of Les, 76, of Hutchinson, passed away May 19 at her home in Hutchinson. Memorial service was May 24 at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson with interment in the church cemetery. The Rev. Glenn Meyer officiated. Organist was Dr. Joan DeVee Dixon. Congregational hymns were, "On Eagle's Wings," "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" and "Just As I Am".

She was born June 19, 1946, in Minneapolis. She was the adopted daughter of Donald and Esther (Schumann) Smith. Betty was baptized as an infant and later confirmed in her faith as a youth, both at St. Peter's Evangelical Church in Ellsworth Township. She attended grade school in Ellsworth Township and later transferred to Litchfield Public Schools, and was a graduate of the Litchfield High School Class of 1964. Betty furthered her education at St. Cloud State University.

On Oct. 2, 1971, Betty was united in marriage to Leslie "Les" Ruskamp at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson. This marriage was blessed with two children, Michele and Joel. They made their home in Hutchinson where they shared 51 years of marriage.

Betty was employed at 3M for many years before becoming a paraprofessional for the Hutchinson School District. She enjoyed helping children with their math skills and was always excited when her students recognized her later on in their education. She retired after 25 years of service. Betty was a very active member of Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, where she served on the Altar Guild and on the flower committee. She taught Sunday School for many years at both St. Peter Evangelical Church and Peace Lutheran Church, and she directed many children's Christmas programs.

She enjoyed bowling and bowled for 47 years on various leagues at Hutch Bowl. She helped coach youth bowling leagues, and enjoyed traveling to the Women's State Bowling Championships where she would often spend a lot of time playing FARKLE with all of her teammates. Betty attended her last tournament at the beginning of May this year. She donated much of her time doing volunteer work for Peace Lutheran Church and Hutchinson Hospital. Betty also enjoyed the theater and both acted and assisted with various plays with the Hutchinson Theater Company. She also loved watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings play, especially when they were winning. Betty and Les spent a lot of time at their cabin on Leech lake watching beautiful sunsets from the deck and fishing for big crappies, sunfish, and an occasional dogfish. Betty especially enjoyed spending time with her family, grandchildren, friends, and dog, Ellie.

Blessed be her memory.

Betty is survived by her husband, Les Ruskamp of Hutchinson; children, Michele (Rob) Gordon of Crystal, Joel Ruskamp of Hutchinson; grandchildren, Nicholas Gordon of Crystal, Rebecca Gordon of Crystal; special dog, Ellie; many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Esther Smith; and brother, Charles Smith.

Arrangements by Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book available at