Ruth M. Boswell

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July 23, 1924 - Sept. 14, 2017

After 93 years of living fully, Ruth Maxine Whitten Meese Boswell died peacefully at Memorial Community Care in Aurora on Sept. 14. She was born in Omaha on July 23, 1924, the youngest child of Mildred Adelaide Dunton Whitten and Samuel Whitten, with sisters Helen, Jean and Dorothy preceding her. She graduated from Omaha South High School in 1942 and then studied comptometers at business school. During World War II she decided to enter nursing school thru the U.S. Nurses Corps, graduating from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. It was at Methodist Hospital where she met Lee David Meese, a young general practitioner finishing medical school. On July 29, 1949, they married and left Omaha for Hooper where Dave started working with a local physician. In April 1950, they welcomed their daughter, Diane Louise Meese. They soon moved to Sutton where Dave started his own general practice. Ruth stayed at home with Diane, while also becoming an active member of the Federated Church in Sutton, where she was able to use her musical skills singing and playing for others. After Dave unexpectedly died from polio in Aug. 1952 at age 29, Ruth moved to the Meese family farm near Ithaca to await the birth of her and Dave’s second daughter. Nancy Ellen Meese was born in Jan. 1953, in Omaha, about five months after her father’s death. Ruth spent the next seven years on her own, moving back to Sutton and working at Mary Lanning Hospital in the surgery departmenther favorite. She was blessed with many friends who helped with taking care of the two girls when she was working or on call for surgery. Ruth and the girls loved their little brick house! After marrying Gerald E. Boswell in Sutton on Feb. 14, 1960, Ruth became a mother to two young boys- Larry Eugene Boswell (11) and Kenneth Lee Boswell (8). Jerry and Ruth settled on a farm northeast of Shickley, where she became a farm wife (with much teaching from Virginia Hopken) and helped Jerry with the livestock and farming. Ruth also occasionally worked at Fillmore County Hospital, assisting in surgery. Patricia Kay Boswell joined the family in March 1963, followed by Beth Ann Boswell in March 1966. After the three older children were off to college, Ruth and Jerry purchased the Ludwig farm southwest of Shickley in 1971. This became their home where family gathered and memories were made even when Jerry died from cancer on Jan. 24, 1992, at age 68. Ruth continued to live on the farm independently until 2001, when she purchased a home in Shickley. She adjusted quickly to town life, enjoying walking, exercising, meeting with friends, traveling and attending church and school activities. Visiting her large family was something she loved to do, as well as attending her grandchildren’s activities. Ruth’s eyesight began to fail as she suffered from macular degeneration and she eventually stopped driving. Her social life continued, though, with the help of her many friends and drivers! Shortly before Ruth’s 90th birthday, she decided to move to assisted living in Aurora. She enjoyed her life and new friends at East Park Villa until October 2016, when her health made it necessary for her to move to skilled care at Memorial Community Care. Throughout her entire life, Ruth always loved being with family, enjoying music, watching sporting events and eating chocolate and not always in that exact order! Ruth always was smiling (except when disciplining her children or watching Nebraska lose to Oklahoma) and turned into the quintessential sweet little old lady. The family is extremely grateful to Ruth’s friends in Shickley and friends and caregivers in Aurora who made her life that much more wonderful in her final years on earth. Ruth was an independent woman in the 1950s long before “independent woman” became a catch phrase. She insisted all of her children be able to support themselves in life; just as she was able to support herself and her family when she was widowed at a young age. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Helen James and Jean Morris; husbands, Dave Meese and Jerry Boswell; daughter, Diane Girmus and former son-in-law Johnnie Dale Girmus. She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Meyer (Cincinnati, OH); children, Larry and Kate Boswell (Allen), Ken and Leslie Boswell (Shickley), Nancy and Leon Teetor (Ithaca), Patty and John Burke (Lexington, KY), and Beth and Scott Johnson (Aurora); former daughter- in-law, Kathy Boswell; grandchildren, Lanny and Beth Boswell, Kelly Boswell and Beth Matschullat, Jason and Michelle Girmus, Kristin Girmus, Tara Girmus, Karen and Brian Labenz, Kendra and Dan Heath, Kristi Boswell, Mark and Sara Teetor, Becky and Andy Unterseher, Caleb Burke, Levi Burke, Samuel Johnson, and Alex Johnson; 24 great- grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, close relatives and friends. Ruth chose to have her body cremated. Her ashes will be laid to rest next to her second husband, Jerry, and his first wife, Betty Gowen Boswell, at the Ong Cemetery in Ong. A generation has now passed in our family. We continue to live our lives in honor of our moms (Ruth and Betty) and dads (Jerry and Dave) and thank them for the gift of life. We extend our thanks to our family and friends for the many kind words, cards, flowers, thoughts and prayers for our mother, Ruth.

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