Ruby RyenRuby Elizabeth J. Hammerud was born January 18, 1920, at home in Comstock, MN, to Iver and Gertrud "Jenny" (Monson) Hammerud. Ruby was raised in Comstock where she attended school. Her father died when she was two years of age, and Ruby left school early to help her family by working as a housekeeper for neighbors, where she established lasting friendships.
Ruby met the love of her life, Willard Brakke, and they were married June 12, 1940, in Comstock. They lived and farmed in Kurtz Township, Clay County. Four children were born from this marriage, Joanne, Roger, David and Doris. Willard died May 5, 1960, at forty-two years of age.