Ruth R. Thomas

Honored by:
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Ruth Thomas exemplified Iowa women of her time. She was born Ruth Richey Williams in Colfax on August 31, 1893, the daughter of a farm family. Throughout her 84 years, Ruth Thomas saw the times change.

Ruth took education seriously and was a straight-A student. After graduation, while still working on the family farm, she became a teacher in a country school and later Colfax's new school in town.

One summer, she met Harris Thomas when both were traveling to the Iowa State Fair. They married in 1918, and Ruth's next career came as a farm wife and mother of eight children. Farm life and family life saw many changes from the time Ruth was young to the time her children had grown.

In 1955, Ruth and Harris moved to town. They left the farm and worked instead in the insurance field. The couple also saw the family grow with twenty-one grandchildren by 1965. Three years later, Ruth and Harris celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

In August of that year Harris passed away, and Ruth began the next chapter of her life as a widow. Although she was not as physically active, she remained supportive, loving and devoted to her family and community.

Ruth passed away February 20, 1979. We honor her as a mother, grandmother, and as an Iowa woman who believed in education, family, and the future.

Given by:
Hazel Thomas Van Ekeren, daughter
Robin Shepard and Kristi Van Ekeren Shepard, granddaughter
Vicki Van Ekeren Gunsaulus, granddaughter
Jodi Van Ekeren Shelton, granddaughter

Submitted on 8/10/95