Here are some tidbits about Ruth by her friends.

An article that included Ruth and tomatoes written by Lu Lippold in the Twin Cities Daily Planet can be found here.

These stories are from a Facebook post announcing Ruth’s passing, all shared with permission. If you have a story you’d like to share, email it to community @

I will treasure all the cookbooks from her, the wry smiles, the tomato plants that Steve and Tully loved so much… Talented, generous and funny… One of a kind… – Alan Nugent

So sad to hear this! Ruth taught me how to knit socks, and I think of her every time I co 48 sts on my dpns. Rest in power, my friend.  – Andrea Myklebust

I first met Ruth at her “heirloom tomato testing” at a cafe in Maiden Rock (now part of the 6 string saloon). She would start tomato plants for me for several years and was a great source of the best onion and leeks plants from Texas. She shared from her garden and her apple trees. She taught me how to knit socks, we shared a CSA share from Avodah farms, she loaned me books to read and videos to watch; we drove several times together to Cannon Falls to buy turkey from Ferndale Farms, visit a knitting shop and have lunch together. She made great hooked rugs and taught me the concept of SABLE (supplies acquired beyond life expectancy–I am SO guilty!) She was one of a kind, to be sure and I’m so sorry that my planned visit today was met with this sad news of her passing.

She enjoyed cooking and was a regular attendee at my January Brunch classes at the Palate. This photo also reminds me that she loved to wear shirts that had funny sayings or images on them…in this case, she’s wearing a “Poupon U” sweatshirt that came from the Mustard Museum that used to be in Mt. Horeb, WI. – Judy Krohn

She loved tomatoes and taught so many of us to love them too.
Vangie, Herdie, Ruth

I am saddened by the news of Ruth’s passing. She was such a breath of fresh air. I loved having tea with her and our far ranging conversations. Here are a couple of photos from one of my cooking classes from a few years ago. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything more recent. RIP dear Ruth Viste. – Linda Harding

Ruth at Linda Harding cooking class.

Again learning from Linda.

Ruth saw me devouring chocolate one day while bartending and since then every time she came to the Six String she’d bring me a delicious chocolate bar. Her intelligence, thoughtfulness, quirkiness and outgoing kindness were truly unique. I am so saddened by this and by the time I thought she still had. Love to you Jim – Faith Ulwelling

Ruth and I had both recently read and really liked Lincoln in the Bardo, and talked about it on Thursday. The Tibetans believe the Bardo is where we go between lives to evaluate our past life and what we will change in the next. Reading all the wonderful things Ruth has done in her life, if she‘s there I hope she‘s remembering all the kindness she left behind, and not planning to change much in the next. – Pat Carlson

I have many memories of Ruth too. Her reign as Queen of heirloom tomatoes, her rug hooking, her sock knitting, her voracious appetite for books and good movies. She loved watching The Big Lebowski and serving White Russians. The drink, that is. She loved food and basset hounds and laughing like a kid, with a snort to punctuate. We had many lively chats over Hendrick’s gin and she was on a really good track of making peace with her past. A good thing for us all. She once showed me a picture of a young woman with long reddish hair looking over her shoulder at the camera. She wore a white lab coat, working as an intern at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. There was Ruth Viste. Looking out at her future. So glad her future brought her to this community. Rest well, Ruth. – Nan Michaud

Ruth: Talented, generous, thoughtful. Textile lover. Knitting guru. Rug hooking diva (btw- the frame you donated is now in capable hands in Guatemala.) Gardener extraordinaire (thanks for turning me on to Godoshnik tulips!). Summer party organizer- and thanks for telling me to “just come- don’t worry about bringing anything.” You were always great about lightening the load. May your kind spirit soar. – Maryann Wise

First Tuesday knitting at Gelly’s, Ruth assisting Andrea.
Dr. Ruth