Ruth Deckert


Ruth Esther Deckert of Rochester, Minnesota, went home to be with Christ after a sudden and very unexpected heart attack on Saturday, December 23, 2023. She was 82.

Ruth Kampars was born June 23, 1941, in Mussoorie, India, where her parents were missionaries from Latvia.  After her mother died when she was just 5 years old, Ruth was sent to a boarding school, where she spent some very sad years until her father remarried Gladys Klassen, a missionary from Mountain Lake, Minnesota. Ruth’s stepmother gave her love, security, and a good home education.  Around this time Ruth trusted Christ as her Savior after family Bible reading one day. In her teens Ruth moved to the United States to complete her education and graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1960.

Ruth and Wayne met one summer when Ruth was helping to teach Vacation Bible School at Wayne’s small, rural church near the family ranch in north central North Dakota.  They wrote many, many letters after that summer while Wayne attended college in Minot and Ruth in Omaha.  They married July 6, 1962.

Ruth was a devoted wife, following and supporting Wayne as the couple moved from Nebraska to South Dakota, then to Minnesota, where Wayne taught at Pillsbury College.  After raising her children, Ruth went back to school to finish her bachelor’s degree and graduated with her oldest son Greg and his future wife Pam in 1985.  Wayne and Ruth eventually moved to Florida for Wayne to teach at Clearwater Christian College. They moved back to Minnesota to be near children and grandchildren at the end of Wayne’s teaching career.  Ruth was a sweet, selfless, and affectionate mother to her three children, and a creative homemaker. She showed hospitality to neighbors, church friends, and many college students.  She also worked on the college campuses where Wayne was a professor, most often in the bookstore.  College students seemed especially drawn to her, thinking of her as a “second mom.”

Many people have been blessed by Ruth’s fabulous cooking.  She also had a beautiful voice and sang in school and church choirs through the years.  She was a talented seamstress, sought out by college students who needed her help with alterations.  She sewed and knitted beautiful creations for her children and grandchildren. She volunteered at Schaeffer Academy in Rochester, where four of her grandchildren attended, and she cared for babies in the Pre-K Moms program at a local church. She loved hosting her book group, she served in her church, Cornerstone Baptist, and volunteered with Together for Good. In recent years, she and Wayne enjoyed their travels to Australia, England, Ireland, South America, Israel, and India.

Ruth was never one to seek the spotlight; instead she quietly served in the background, helping others, especially her husband, children, and grandchildren.  She was humble and faithful.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her stepmom, and her brother.  She is survived by Wayne, her loving husband of 61 years; her children Greg (Pam) Deckert of Maple Grove, Michelle (Rich) Harris of Rochester, Scott (Jennifer) Deckert of Buffalo; 15 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two half-sisters.

Visitation and viewing will be at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Pine Island, Minnesota on Friday, January 5, 4:00-7:00 pm and Saturday, January 6, 10:00-11:00 am, with a funeral service to follow at 11:00.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made in the form of contributions to Bibles International, Camp FaHoCha, and Schaeffer Academy.

Psalm 116:15-Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Rochester Cremation Services is honored to serve the family. Memories and condolences of Ruth may be shared at

8 thoughts on “Ruth Deckert

  1. We are truly grieved that you have lost your sweet Ruth. However, can you even imagine the glory she is now experiencing? One day we will have the great reunion with our loved ones and our Lord Jesus. Then our time together will never have to end.
    We are praying for the family as you go through this most difficult time.

  2. What a blessing it was to serve together at CCC with Ruth. We had many long conversations and shared so many stories about our families. Ruth would always share with me what she was sewing or knitting for her family for birthdays and Christmas. Your family is in my prayers

  3. Dear Deckert Family,
    I am so very sorry for the passing of Mrs Deckert. Even though I know you rest in knowing she is in the presence of Jesus right now, there is also an empty place in your hearts. You will be in our prayers. We are so very thankful for you all! “Coach Deckert” you will always have a special place in my heart. Much love to you all.

  4. We think everyone who knew Ruth, loved her! We are sorry for your loss. Praying for all of you!
    Denny and Mary Burggraff
    Owatonna, MN

  5. Coach,
    Ruth was everything a wife, mother, grandmother ought to be, she will be missed but for all of us in Christ it is not goodbye but see you later. Coach, you and the family will be in my prayers!

  6. To Mr. and Mrs. Harris, my condolences.I know there are many memories cherished of your Mom. I bet she is rejoicing.
    Blessings and prayers,
    McMurdo family

  7. On behalf of the scores of households in the Calvary Free Church family, and my own family, -three of our children having been blessed by the teaching and mentoring of Dr. Deckert and the Harrises, we share with you in your agonizing loss, and celebrate with you in the glorious hope of Jesus whom you and Ruth have loved and selflessly served.

  8. Greg &Pam,
    We are sorry for the heartache. We grieve with You never knowing Ruth, but knowing you. We grieve with You in hope knowing that she is worth Christ, content and joyful. That doesn’t minimize the ache of what you have lost so we will be praying for comfort and wonderful memories to soothe the hurt. We love you in Christ.

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