Ruth Vetter Longhenry

Honored by:Bessie Hobson
Brick location:A:3  map

Ruth M. Vetter Longhenry an alumna of the University of Iowa was a heroine to her family and those who knew her for various reasons. First of all was her unwavering faith in God. She put her life and the lives of her family in God's hands and then refused to worry about things. A good example of this was after her husband was housebound they lived in the country and she couldn't drive. Instead of worrying about how she would be able to get to town to purchase groceries get necessities and get her husband to the doctor she prayed about it and left matters in God's hands. When her children fussed she would very calmly say "Have faith and things will work out." Another example of her faith was when her two sons were in the air force she prayed for their safety and then refused to fret or worry. A final example of her faith was when the Doctor with tears in his eyes told her she had inoperable liver cancer Ruth looked him in the eye and said "I’ve had a good long life and I'm ready to go home."

Second Ruth was a heroine because she felt education was the key to breaking the chain of poverty. When her children were young there was very little money for more then the most necessary items. At all times she told her children to "get a good education because no one can take that away from you." Ruth believed this so much because the family lost the farm during the Great Depression of the thirties. As a result of her guidance her six children have degrees from 4-year colleges and 5 have advanced degrees in various fields. All 4 daughters have 50 hours beyond their Master Degree. They attribute this desire for an education to their Mother's encouragement. Ruth was a teacher and her four daughters all followed her footsteps in the field of education. One son retired from the air force as a major and the other son served for four years in the air force. As a former teacher Ruth tutored her children at home when they were in danger of falling behind. One daughter was in the third grade and couldn't read more than "Once upon a time" because all lessons began that way. She worked and worked to get her daughter to read.

Finally, it clicked and when the daughter was a sophomore in high school Ruth told her "not to read all the time." Later a son was having difficulty with physics and chemistry. She helped him gain an understanding of the concepts in those areas. In all her life Ruth was a teacher to any and all who wanted help -- even for those of her children who didn't at times. Today all of her children are grateful for her concern and guidance.

Third Ruth always tried to aid the less fortunate. She gave freely of the produce of her garden the clothes she sewed and other unused items available. An example of this was when former neighbors had a devastating house fire and lost everything. Ruth and her husband loaded the pickup with furniture used clothes bedding and other items and took this to the family. They kept track of the family and took things to them for several years. At times the younger children were unhappy because "you always give away the best." However Ruth was adamant that those less fortunate than she needed it more than the family.

A fourth reason Ruth M. Vetter Longhenry was a heroine was her unfailing loyalty to her husband and her family. When times were rough it would have been easy to criticize and find fault. Instead she encouraged everyone not to be discouraged or downhearted. "Work" she would say "makes a difference. Don't quit or give up." Ruth M. Vetter Longhenry instilled in her family a love of God and a respect for truth and honesty. In this way she was a heroine to her family.