Ruth Barbara Lydia Brown Timm

Honored by:Donald A. Timm
Brick location:D:7  map

Ruth Barbara Lydia Brown Timm was a loving, caring, daughter, teacher, wife, mother, and homemaker. She was very active in church work and missions. Albert and Ruth sent food and clothing packages to the European war victims in the 1940s even though times were tough. Ruth enjoyed sewing clothes for her children and later made countless quilts and covers to be sent to the needy. She enjoyed a bountiful crop from her well-kept garden and especially enjoyed tending her many flower beds and house plants. She was knowledgeable of Iowa wildflowers and had a flower bed devoted to them; she also seeded flowers along the country roads. Ruth enjoyed baking and would often host the family gatherings as picnics in the summer. She delighted in music whether listening to the songs of the different birds, worshipping to the sounds of the pipe organ at Zion, or playing the piano. Ruth saw God's beauty in all things and in all people; and instilled this in her students, children, and grandchildren.

Ruth Barbara Lydia Brown was born March 7, 1913 near Wilton, Iowa. Ruth was Henry and Pauline Brown's fourth of six children. Their farm home was south of Wilton along Highway 38 across from the Peace Evangelical Church, which Ruth's ancestors, along with other German families in the area, had been instrumental in building.

Ruth's great grandfather, Johann Braun, after living in America, decided to change the family name to its English spelling Brown. Ruth’s grandfather, the young John Brown, was six and a half when he left Germany with his parents and siblings in 1849. John Brown married Mary Nietzel in 1873. Her parents had come to America from Bavaria. John and Mary Brown raised five children. Henry, born in 1874, was the oldest.

Henry Brown and Pauline Boettcher, a talented seamstress, were married June 7, 1905. Pauline, born in 1882, was 4 1/2 when she left Germany (that area is now part of Poland) in 1887 with her family.

Ruth attended White Prairie school along with her older sister Louise (who later became a teacher and missionary), older brother Edward (who later was a life-long farmer), younger brother Harris (who was killed as a young father of two in a car accident), and younger sister Elva (who later was a homemaker and enjoyed painting). Oscar, the first born, died at eight months of age.

Ruth graduated from Wilton High School in 1930. She completed her teaching course at Iowa State Teacher's College, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Ruth taught at Evergreen Nook school, a one room country schoolhouse just south of Wilton until 1936.

Pauline Brown had been in poor health for several years before her death in 1933. Henry remained on the family farm until he died in 1965.

Rural Young People was a county-wide group that was a part of the state-wide organization begun by the extension service. It was through this group that Ruth Brown met Albert Timm. Albert was a young dairyman from just west of Muscatine. Three of his grandparents had come to the area from Germany; the other was born in Pennsylvania of German stock.

Ruth Barbara Lydia Brown and Albert Christian Timm were married July 10, 1938 at the Peace Evangelical Church. They had three children: Donald Albert, born December 8, 1941; Jerry Lauren, born March 8, 1945; Barbara Louise, born May 7, 1948. The family had a good life on the farm. They were active members in the Zion Lutheran Church in Muscatine. The neighborhood ladies had a group, the Kensington Club, which gave Ruth and the others an opportunity to get together to visit and help others. The children attended Zion Lutheran School and all graduated from Muscatine High School. Growing up on the farm, the children were involved with 4-H and helped with the dairy herd of Holsteins.

In 1958, the family moved to the Hillandale Farm on the west edge of Muscatine. For the next ten years, the family expanded their dairy cattle enterprise by selling milk retail. Ruth was in charge of the bottling and sales.

Ruth and Albert enjoyed traveling when the busy farm life would allow. For their 30th wedding anniversary, they visited Don in Germany. Don was stationed in Germany with the US Army and also worked there with a law firm. They also visited Colorado, the Florida Keys, and Hawaii on different vacations.

Don graduated from Iowa State University, and received his law degree from the University of Iowa. He practiced law in South Korea. It was there that he met and married Sung Young Hae in 1977. They are now divorced. Don returned to Germany to work for the United States handing legal matters with foreign countries. Later, he became chief of International Agreements for the United Nations Command and United States Forces in Korea.

Jerry married Carol Lee in 1967. They have three children: Steven, born 1970; Wendy, born 1972; and Susan, born 1978. Jerry’s family lives and farms just west of Muscatine. He also raises beef cattle, and sheep.

Barbara graduated from Muscatine Community College. She and David Chown were married in 1968.  Their daughter, Amanda, was born in 1969; and their son, Jeff, was born in 1970. They live and farm south of Nichols, Iowa.  Their farming operation includes dairy and beef cattle.

Ruth enjoyed her grandchildren. They all lived close enough to have a very personal relationship with their grandparents. She delighted in reading to the little ones and watching them grow.  There would often be some fresh baked cookies in her kitchen to go along with the friendly conversation.

On July 10, 1988, Albert and Ruth celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a family gathering and picnic. It was a beautiful day spent in the shade of the giant oaks surrounding their home.

After a long struggle with cancer, Ruth passed away on July 23, 1990.

She left everything a little better than she found it.

Submitted on 9/21/94