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Ruth Sauter, age 86, formerly of Mandan, N.D., died peacefully on April 30, 2003, in a Billings care center.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 3, at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mandan, with the Rev. Richard Weber officiating. She will be laid to rest in the Carson Community Cemetery, south of her hometown. Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 2, at the Buehler-Larson Funeral Home in Mandan. Visitation will continue one hour before services at the church.

Ruth McDowall was born on June 3, 1916, in Cannon Ball, N.D., the daughter of James and Emma (Stradtman) McDowall. She married Raymond G. Sauter on Aug. 14, 1948, in Mandan. Widowed in 1960, Ruth was a very self-reliant single parent. She moved to Mandan with her young family of three grade school children that same year. To support her family, Ruth went to work at the Ben Franklin store on Main Street, where she worked for nearly 20 years and knew hundreds of customers from all over the western part of the state. She was well known as the person always on duty at the store and would share news between friends from various rural communities. She was the common connection. Although severely handicapped with arthritis after her retirement, Ruth volunteered for several years for the Easter Seal Foundation and earned a special service award and recognition from the governor.

All three of Ruth's children went to college and became professionals: Donovan became a registered pharmacist; Myra, a registered nurse; and Brenda, an accountant for the Department of Defense. She was very proud of her children's accomplishments. Her family is a fine example of the great place America is. People without many financial resources, if given an opportunity, can achieve much and have a successful and prosperous life. Ruth's spirit will live on through her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. May God bless Ruth and America!

She is survived by her daughters, Myra (Bob) Broadhead of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and Brenda Hablutzel of Franktown, Colo.; her son, Donovan of Billings; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; one brother; and one sister.

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