Ruth Ann Anderson was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend and devoted follower of Christ. She left this world on Thursday Oct. 6, 2022, after a courageous battle with mesothelioma at the age of 83.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, at the First United Methodist Church in Brookings. The service will be live streamed on the First United Methodist YouTube page, as well as recorded and uploaded to the Eidsness Funeral Home website. A link for the live stream is currently pending. A meal and time of fellowship will immediately follow the service at the Community Life Center, located directly north of the church. Visitation will be held the evening prior, Friday, Oct. 14, from 4 until 6:30 p.m.., with an Eastern Star service beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings.
Ruth, the Third born child of Oral and Aletha (Stinton) Swift, was born July 27, 1939, in Burke SD. She was the youngest sibling of Dwaine Swift and Lois Baney. Although a significant separation in their ages, Ruth had a close relationship with her siblings and a great love and respect for her parents. She valued her relationship with her family and remained incredibly close to her family throughout her entire life.
Ruth grew up on a farm near Lucas, SD. She completed her elementary school years in rural Lucas and attended high school in Burke, SD where she graduated in 1957.
Ruth valued education and furthered her schooling at Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD. She took a break from her education and moved to the West Bank of the Missouri River where she taught in a country school from 1958-1959. She then returned to Southern where she finished her undergraduate work and received her B.S. degree with a major in Elementary Education and Music in 1961. While in Springfield, Ruth developed several lifelong friendships and it was there that she met the love of her life, LeRoy Anderson.
The two were united in marriage on July 23, 1961, in the Baptist Church in Burke. After marriage, Ruth continued her studies at South Dakota State University and received her Masters Degree in Guidance/Counseling and Early Childhood in 1964. The couple then started a family and immersed themselves in the community of Brookings, truly making it their home.
Together they had two children Brian and Brent. The boys were the focal point of their lives. Their family farm served as a perfect haven for raising pigs, family pets, hosting school sponsored pets (Super Chick) and was a favorite hangout for the boys and their friends. Ruth and LeRoy kept the doors to the home open at all times for anyone who needed them.
Ruth’s love and value of education encompassed her entire career. Her dedication to her students was limitless. It was not unusual for her to be at school before sunrise and to stay past sunset. She made a huge impact on so many student and parents lives throughout her career. She often received high school graduation invitations from past students, as well as wedding invitations!
The scope of her dedication to the field of education reached beyond the classroom. Ruth was a member of Zeta Chapter of Alpha Pi State and was initiated into the Zeta Chapter in 1975 in Brookings. She served as the Chapter President three times; 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President and Recording Secretary. She made a global impact when she served on the international Professional Affairs Committee. She was the recipient of the Janet Shelver Travel Study Scholarship and was given the Alpha Pi state Achievement Award in Brookings in 1999.
Ruth concluded her professional career in 2005 in the Brooking school district after 40 years of teaching , she then transitioned into a full time role as a grandmother.
Being a grandmother (Grammy) was one of the greatest joys of her life. Her unconditional love, support and passion made her a grandmother like none other. She never missed a first day of school ceremony during elementary years, volunteered at school fundraisers, was at every school program, basketball game, band concert, piano recital and dance recital. There was nothing too big or small that she didn’t make a priority and was there whenever needed during good times and bad.
Ruth loved spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking. She was known by her family for her signature caramel rolls (a holiday must!) and homemade pies. She loved reading and collecting children’s books and was instrumental in teaching many children how to read, including her two granddaughters. She loved writing cards and letters to family and friends and will always be remembered for her perfect penmanship. Ruth loved following SDSU women’s athletics and was a true Jackrabbit at heart. She loved all things blue and yellow. She never missed attending SDSU women’s sporting events when able and cherished the special relationships she developed with the young athletes throughout the years.
Ruth lived her life as a follower of Christ. She will be remembered by her loving, generous and accepting spirit, always willing to give of her time, resources and love.
Ruth is survived by her husband, LeRoy, of Brookings; sons: Brian Anderson (Amy) of St. Louis Park, MN, Brent Anderson of Sioux Falls, SD; granddaughters: Anna and Abby Anderson of Sioux Falls, mother of granddaughters: Rhonda Raue (Mike) of Sioux Falls, special family friend: Sonja Anderson.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Oral and Althea Swift; Mother-in law Laura Anderson, Father-in-law, John Anderson; Brother, Dwaine Swift.
In lieu of flowers, the Anderson family prefers that memorial donations be made to the First United Methodist Church Foundation, or the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation – http://www.curemeso.org/.
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