Loved ones share memories of the people killed in the Minnehaha Academy explosion

Loved ones are sharing their memories of Ruth Berg and John Carlson.
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Two people were killed in a natural gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy Wednesday.

One is Ruth Berg, who worked as a receptionist at the Minneapolis school for 17 years. Her body was found a few hours afters the explosion, which was reported a little before 11 a.m.

The other is John Carlson, an alum of Minnehaha Academy that returned to the school to be a custodian. His body was pulled from the rubble Wednesday evening.

The community held a prayer vigil that night at Minnehaha Academy's lower and middle schools. Here's a look at how loved ones are remembering Berg and Carlson.

Ruth Berg

Berg, who turned 47 years old in May, lived in Minneapolis and was a graduate of the city's South High School, according to her Facebook. One friend described her as " a beautiful woman inside and out, a fun-loving, rocking and hard-working soul, kind and funny."

She was engaged, set to be married this fall to Mark Burrington, WCCO reported.

"Ruth often spoke of her friends and you meant the world to her," wrote a woman identifying herself as Berg's sister on Facebook. "She also [spoke] of her job and co workers a lot, and believe me when I say she loved you to bits and loved her work."

Tributes to Berg, whom some called Dee Dee, are flowing in on Facebook.

"Oh my god Ruth. I will miss your silliness so much. You are truly an awesome chick," wrote Kaity Heart

"I wish I could hug you one last time, Ruth. A part of you will always be in my heart. No stupid Facebook statues will EVER do the justice to how much I love you and how much I'll miss you and think about you every single day," shared Izzy Graf.

John Carlson

Carlson, 81 years old, graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 1953 – and decades later returned after retirement to work as a custodian.

He became known for giving Dilly Bars to students during his 14 years working there, a story in the school newspaper Red Hawks Online says.

“I’m kind of an outgoing person and if I see students standing around I like to say ‘hello,’” he told the paper. “To do the job is important. I’ve got to put in a good day’s work, and I try to do that. But, I also enjoy conversing with the students.”

The school itself describes him as its "biggest cheerleader and a long-time presence," noting he event sent his kids to Minnehaha Academy.

He also served Cities Church, which wrote a touching tribute to the man.

"You could always count on John to be there, always smiling in his Redhawks polo and greeting whoever he saw. ... His warm personality and cheerful demeanor made him such a blessing to our church. He was the kind of old man that every man would want to be. His presence will be sorely missed."

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