Martin Ruigh, 86, of Pine River, passed away Monday, March 31, 2014, at Country Manor in Sartell.
He was born to Andrew and Guro Ruigh on Dec. 3, 1927, in Pine River, and spent his youth in the Maple Hill area around Pine River.
Martin attended the “Minnie” school at Maple Hill, and later in Pine River graduating in 1945. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Whittier, Alaska. He attended trade schools for refrigeration and barber school. He married Joan Tarbutt on April 22, 1950, and they lived in Minneapolis for approximately five years before returning to the Pine River area. They owned a refrigeration and appliance sales and repair business and Martin worked with many of the resorts, businesses, farms and residents of the area. Business could continue as usual because of his emergency repair of an air conditioner, milk house pump or refrigerator.
In 1959, Pine River Lanes was built by Martin, his father, Andrew, and a very small extended crew. He and Joan operated the bowling alley until her death in July 1991. Martin continued the operation until a devastating fire destroyed the family home and business in July 1992. The new facility is on property he provided to the community.
Martin served as Chamber president and justice of the peace. Martin and Joan were also active in the local and regional square dancing clubs and Pine River Lions. In retirement, Martin served on a number of local boards, church council and many other volunteer activities. He was on the road most days transporting folks to and from appointments.
Martin was totally immersed in building and flying radio control planes and helicopters as well as mentoring others wanting to share his passion. Additionally, he built a new home and found time for many woodworking projects over the years. The recent past was spent at Country Manor Pine Cone Lodge in Sartell where he continued to share his unique sense of humor and insight. Staff and family continued to be enriched by his fresh perspective on daily life.
Survivors include his son, Andrew of Sartell; daughters, Patricia Johnson (Kevin) of St. Cloud and Colleen King (Ricky) of Pine River; son-in-law, David Mutschelknaus of Richmond; and grandchildren, Eric, Kristen, Paul, Janelle and Nicholas.
Preceding him in death were his parents; brother, Gerhard; infant sister; wife, Joan; and daughter, Karen Mutschelknaus.
Celebration of Life services were at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5, at First Lutheran Church in Pine River, with burial at Maple Hill Cemetery. Visitation was Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, and one hour prior to the service Saturday.
Memorials are preferred. Arrangements were with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.