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Ruth Kees dead at 102

Ruth Kees

Ruth M. Kees, longtime Hudson businesswomen, died this week at the age 102.

Kees will be remembered as a talented designer and businesswoman as well as a good and kind friend with a great wit and an infectious laugh.

She was born on July 27, 1914, in Minneapolis. Her father died at a young age, leaving her mother to raise Ruth and her brother John to adulthood. After graduating college in St. Cloud, she married and had her son, David "Tuffer" Tifft. David died suddenly at the age of three.

According to her family it was through David's untimely death that Kees discovered, then pursued her love of design with architect and designer Genevieve Hendricks in Washington D.C. The firm worked on longstanding restorations of Williamsburg, The Elms, and many other notable projects on the east coast.

Returning to Hudson in 1949, Kees and her mother purchased what became Harding's at Hudson from the Harding family. There she shared her knowledge and expertise in interior design for more than a half a century. She also sold gifts that reflected her passion for all things that she loved — books, yarn, spices, and fine gifts. Her handknit sweaters were available there, keeping thousands of babies warm over the last half a century.

She married Russel A. Kees and had two daughters, Catherine and Carolyn.

Ruth Kees is survived by her daughters, her extended family and friends, Jeffrey Shaw, Edward Hawksford, and Andrew Terwilliger.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb.16, at Ascension Episcopal Church, 214 Third St. N, Stillwater, Minn. Visitation will be held one hour before the service. Interment will be in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN at a later date. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of Hudson.

A complete obituary appears in this week's Star Observer.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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