Ruth Marit Frantz passed away on December 31, 2020 at the age of 96, from the coronavirus.  She was a resident of the Good Samaritan-Southgate Care Center. She was born in 1924 in Snohomish, Washington, the daughter of John Bjerkan and Hedwig Zellmer. She was raised in Everett, Washington, with her two brothers, Ray and Ted. After graduating from high school, Ruth attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota and Pacific Lutheran College, near Tacoma, Washington. It was while attending Pacific Lutheran that she met her future husband, Roland Frantz, a young Lutheran pastor in the area. They married in 1948. In 1949, Roland became pastor of a Lutheran church in Olympia, Washington, where the couple lived until 1960. During this time, Ruth and Roland had two children, Paul and Sharon.

In 1960, Roland received an invitation to become the president of Concordia College, in Edmonton. He accepted, and the family moved to the Highlands neighborhood of Edmonton. For the next 15 years, until Roland’s death in 1975, Ruth helped raise her family and provided support for Roland in his work. At his death, Ruth decided to enter the work force. She received training in librarianship and took a position in the University of Alberta Education Library. She worked in this library for 15 years, some of her happiest years, where she served the students and faculty and made many lasting friends among the staff.

Ruth had a long and happy retirement. With her two best friends, Em Schoepp and Gertrude Schienbein, she would sing hymns at assisted living centers (often to residents who were younger than she was) and go to concerts of the Edmonton Symphony. She was active in her church, Grace Lutheran, in downtown Edmonton. She was an avid reader, and at her death, she had just finished a biography of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ruth Frantz was a deeply committed Christian. She often called herself a “child of God” and would tell her children that “she was ready to go whenever the Lord called her.” She has heard that call. Ruth is survived by her two children, Paul of Eugene, Oregon, (and his wife Jean), Sharon, of Edmonton, and two grandchildren, Laura and Julia Frantz. A memorial service will be held later in the year. Donations in her name can be made to the Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton.

Ruth will be laid to rest at Little Mountain Cemetery in Edmonton, Alberta. Friends and family who wish to join by virtual attendance may view the livestream on Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 11:00 am by visiting


Serenity Funeral Service – South Edmonton, (780)450-0101

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Collette Smith

I’ve known Ruth for 20+ years and just spoke to her in November. She was always so cheerful and thankful for everything God had given her.

She was the first person I drew as a prayer pal at Grace and years later, she would comment on some little gift or card I had sent her during that year.

I’m going to miss our phone calls and her sweet, cheerful voice. See you when I get home, Ruth.

Lowell and Irma Eckert

Our sincere condolences on the death of your mother and grandmother. She was a wonderful Christian whom we respect very much. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” (Rev. 14:13)

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