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Family of Jamestown woman comforted that parents are ‘together again’

Ruby Grenz, left, will be remembered as a hard-working, caring person who enjoyed talking with and listening to others. Her husband, Eugene, died in March. (Photo courtesy of the Grenz family)

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Ruby Grenz will be remembered for her ability to talk to and listen to just about anyone who crossed her path.

Grenz, 78, Jamestown, was last seen around 5 p.m. Tuesday as she left the Second Avenue Salon. She was found in her 2005 Dodge Caravan minivan Saturday morning in a storage area behind Border States Paving, according to Jamestown Police Chief Scott Edinger.

Grenz’s daughters Carla Elstad and Cindy Christianson, both from Jamestown, and Lynette Strube of Fergus Falls, Minn., said this past week has been the toughest they have gone through since their father, Eugene Grenz, died in March. Not knowing where their mother was since leaving her hair appointment Tuesday afternoon was unbearable.

“I’d have to say it was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced,” Strube said.

“It’s the hardest thing,” Elstad said. “This is something you wouldn’t wish upon anybody.”

Christianson said what was especially frustrating was not being able to help law enforcement officers with any ideas of where Grenz might have gone.

“Mom wasn’t where she was supposed to be,” she said.

Grenz’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Temple Baptist Church in Jamestown.

Family life

Strube said Grenz grew up in Venturia, N.D., and Eugene is from Fredonia, N.D.

“They met on a farm through mutual acquaintances,” she said.

They were married for 56 years when Eugene died in March.

The Grenzes had five children, including a son, Bryant Grenz, and another daughter, Terry Perleberg, who died with her husband five years ago in Florida.

Christianson said her parents were known for always being together and were well-liked.

Grenz worked at the North Dakota State Hospital for 23 years, and she retired as the supervisor of the dietary department in 1999. When she wasn’t preparing meals at the State Hospital, she was cooking and baking at home.

Ruby’s routine

Elstad, Christianson and Strube all said they noticed a change in their mother after their father died.

“We knew it was tough on her when she lost Dad. They were married 56 years. Those two people, they were always together,” Elstad said.

At least one of the daughters would either stop by Grenz’s house or give her a call every day.

Grenz’s routine after her husband died was to go to the McDonald’s restaurant, then go walk in the Buffalo Mall.

Strube said Grenz was easygoing, liked to talk with people and was a good listener.

Family and friends are grieving the loss of Grenz, but Strube and her sisters know their mother is not alone anymore.

“We know they are together again; that is how we are getting comfort now,” she said.

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