Their relationship was a long time comingRuth and Bob Eiler knew each other when they were in high school and married when they were nearly 90
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
When Ruth Eiler was a high school student in Cannon Falls there was a boy named Bob who had bit of a crush on her. Ruth had a boyfriend, though. He had a car and could take her where she wanted to go. And he wasn’t too excited about anybody else taking an interest in his girl.
After graduation Ruth and Bob went their separate ways. Ruth studied to become a teacher, and after a few years she met a young man named Carl, the older brother of one of her teaching friends.
“He started taking me out,” Eiler said. “We eventually got married. We bought a farm that was right across the street from his folks’ farm.”
The farm was on the south side of Rosemount. Carl played the accordion at dances, and Ruth would go along to watch and to dance with friends.
Life on the farm was a bit of a change for Ruth, who grew up in Harlow, a small town near Devil’s Lake in north-central North Dakota. Her father owned a hardware store.
Ruth was an adopted child, and her parents were older.
“I was very lucky. I lived next to a family that had several children, so I had someone to play with who was close,” she said.
Ruth got teased early on because she was adopted, but one day her mother pointed out that they had chosen her because they loved her.
“After that, I never thought a thing of it,” she said.
The family moved to Cannon Falls when Ruth was in eighth grade. She liked going to school there, and she found some work styling hair.
“There were quite a few ladies who’d seen what I had done. That’s when we did finger waves. They would give me a quarter for doing their hair,” Eiler said. “I didn’t do too badly for a young kid.”
Ruth and Carl raised a family on their farm, an 80-acre dairy operation. They had two boys and two girls.
Bob, meanwhile, started a family of his own. He moved to Canada.
Then, in the early 1990s, the two couples met by chance in Arizona, where Ruth and Carl were spending the winter. A friend told her she knew someone else who had gone to school in Cannon Falls. The two couples got together, and Ruth hit it off with Bob’s wife. They started corresponding.
When Carl died in 1996, Ruth, who will be 93 in December, talked often with Bob and his wife. When Bob’s wife died a few years later, they talked some more. One day, Bob wondered aloud about how many of their old classmates were still around Cannon Falls. Ruth invited her long-ago classmate to come visit, and by the time his visit was over they had decided to get married.
“We didn’t like the idea of him having to go back and be so far away,” Ruth said.
They talked about spending half of the year in Rosemount and half in Canada, but eventually they decided staying in one place was easier. Bob agreed to move south.
“That made me very happy,” Ruth said. “I didn’t have to leave my kids.”
Ruth’s children were happy for their mother. They knew she didn’t like being by herself, and they’d met Bob and liked him.
Bob and Ruth were married Aug. 30, 2006.
These days the couple lives in the downtown Rosemount home Ruth and Carl bought when they sold their farm in the early ’90s. They watch TV together. Ruth likes basketball and hockey and football. Bob likes baseball. They both enjoy Dancing With the Stars.
“We used to play cards, but Bob wasn’t much of a card player,” Ruth said.
Bob still mows their lawn with a riding lawn mower.
“It has worked out very well,” Ruth said. “We’ve had a very good marriage.”