Ruth (Martha Ruth) Elavsky

Ruth Elavsky

MUNISING, MI – (May 8, 1934 – September 24, 2022)

Ruth Elavsky entered God’s kingdom on September 24, 2022, at the age of 88, with family members holding vigil at her bedside. Known affectionately as “Ruthie” to friends and family, she arrived in this world on May 8, 1934, in Munising, Michigan, the ninth of 11 children born to Michael and Meri Goc Elavsky.

Following her graduation from Mather High School, Ruth spent several years working in Chicago. In the early 1950’s, she moved to Superior, Wisconsin, and lived with the family of her eldest sister, Mary Wirtanen, while attending the nearby Duluth School of Beauty Culture. After graduating with distinction, she worked as a stylist for the exclusive Aldenberg Beauty Salon in Duluth. There, her creativity and professionalism attracted a large, loyal and constantly growing clientele, and her dramatic hair “masterworks”, often keyed to specific holidays, were regularly featured on local daytime television programs. Eventually, Ruth relocated to her hometown of Munising in order to be near her aging parents. For many years, she operated the Powder Puff Beauty Salon on Main Street.

Although she never married, Ruth was an energetic, enthusiastic and much loved aunt to her nieces and nephews. Unlike most adults of that era, she always found time “for the kids”: babysitting on a moment’s notice, hosting sleepovers, supervising baking and candy-making sessions, cutting their hair in the latest styles, creating elaborate paper-mache costumes for their holiday parties, playing board games and most important teaching them card games new and old, including the all-time favorite of Books and Runs. She also spent many happy summer weeks at the Lost Lake cottage of her older brother, Edward “Mike” and his family.

An avid knitter who seemed to work at the speed of light, she produced winter socks, potholders and neck scarves often using her own designs that almost always sold out at local bazaars. She also filled special orders for her knitted items on a year-round basis.

Despite the pain of multiple fractures, Ruth faced death with her trademark combination of fearlessness, stoicism, a peppery temper and, ultimately, a sense of peace.

In addition to her sister and longtime caregiver, Pauline, Ruth is survived by two sisters-in-law, Arlene (Victor) Elavsky and Ascunsion (Henry) Elavsky, as well as, her 10 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, Mike, John, Edward, Henry, Victor and Jerome and by sisters, Elaine, Mary (Wirtanen) and Anne (Redfield).

An internment was held at Munising’s Maple Grove Cemetery on September 27. A celebration and remembrance of Ruth’s life will take place Friday, June 16, 2023 at Eden Lutheran Church in Munising. Visitation will be from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. Pastor Tera Kossow will conduct Ruth’s memorial service at 11:00 a.m. with a luncheon to follow. Donations in Ruthie’s memory may be made to Eden Lutheran, 1150 M-28 West, Munising, Michigan 49862.