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St. James Lutheran Church
Saturday May 22nd, 2021
10:00am - 11:00am

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Funeral Service

St. James Lutheran Church
Saturday May 22nd, 2021

View Details


St. James Lutheran Church

View Details

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Verla D. (Zimmerman) Ruckheim

Verla D. Ruckheim, age 98, of Parkers Prairie, died on Friday, April 30, 2021, at Nelson Gables in Alexandria.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 22, 2021, at St. James Lutheran Church in South Effington Township, rural Parkers Prairie with Rev. Scott Brown officiating. Music is provided by organist, Vickie Schauland. Interment will be at the church cemetery.

Visitation is one hour prior to the service.

Verla Doris Ruckheim, daughter of Herman Ludwig and Freida (Hink) Zimmerman, was born on August 22, 1922 in Parkers Prairie, MN and passed away peacefully on April 30, 2021 at the age of 98, the oldest of seven siblings. She was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran Church in rural Parkers Prairie. Verla was an active member of St. James Lutheran Church as a Sunday school teacher, choir member and a longtime member of the Lutheran Woman’s Missionary League.

Verla married Eldor Ruckheim on October 15, 1940 at St. James Lutheran Church. Somehow Eldor, who was working for a neighbor, would “coincidentally” be doing fieldwork near the mailbox when Verla went to get the mail, and they often spoke of this as their first significant meeting. They eventually began their own farm in rural Parkers Prairie where they raised three rambunctious boys. They enjoyed farm life for many years the latter of which included a partnership with their son Charles and daughter-in-law Mary. This productive partnership ended when Verla and Eldor retired from farming in 1986 and moved to Parkers Prairie for the city life!

Verla loved gardening. It was said that she could put a stick in the ground, and it would grow! Flowers were always part of the garden, and she enjoyed making her own beautiful flower arrangements, especially in the later years.

Another love was fishing. There were many evening meals of fried fish which were caught that afternoon, most times with one or more of her children who required help baiting the hooks. She often one-upped the men as she quietly caught more and larger fish. This was boldly demonstrated with the catch of a twenty-six-pound northern pike when she did not even have the lure in the water!

She was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Freida Zimmerman; loving husband, Eldor; son, Walter; granddaughter, Emily; four brothers, Palmer, Vernon, Harvey, and Richard; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Gordon, Sam, Wally, Arthur, Delphine, Cora and Marie.

Verla is survived by her two sons, Charles (Mary) Ruckheim of Parkers Prairie and Jim (Cathy) Ruckheim of Minnetonka; two sisters, Loraine Schrader of Parkers Prairie and Marlys Anderson of Litchfield; nine grandchildren, Todd, Brad, Stephanie (Brad), Dennis, Hattie, Lauren and Grant Ruckheim, Michael (Julie) and Bryan (Shawn) Neddo; eight great-grandchildren, Courtney Ruckheim, Alex Towner, Hunter, Holly, Alex, Marissa, Joey, and Elena Neddo, and Alex Watkins; a great-great-grandchild, Oaklynn; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Pallbearers are her grandchildren.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Verla Ruckheim, please visit our flower store.


Verla brought so many gifts to our life. We will never forget those memories. Families of Steve and Kelly Anderson, Julie and Todd Pickett, Amy and Troy Rippentrop, and Eric and Kari Anderson Amy M Anderson

Amy M Anderson May 7 2021 12:00 AM

Verla was the first to French braid my hair as a kid. I was so thankful. I learned how to collect eggs on the farm without getting pecked by the chickens. Many fond memories of my aunt! We will miss you... Amy Anderson (Marlys' daughter)

Amy Anderson May 7 2021 12:00 AM

I have very fond childhood memories of visiting Aunt Verla and Uncle Eldor at the farm. When we arrived, there was always the smell of her delicious, freshly baked bread in the kitchen...gathering fresh eggs from the coop, helping Eldor and Charlie with the milking - happy memories that I will always cherish. Rest in peace, my wonderful Aunt Verla. Julie (Anderson) Pickett (Marlys' eldest daughter)

Julie (Anderson) Pickett May 5 2021 12:00 AM