Ruth M. Bean, age 102, of Albert City, Iowa died August 19, 2021 at Pleasant View Home in Albert City.
Funeral Services will be Friday, September 3, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Albert City, Iowa. Burial will be at the Fairfield Township Cemetery in Albert City. Visitation will be Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Sliefert Funeral Home in Albert City The Sliefert Funeral Home in Albert City is in charge of arrangements.
Ruth was born on the home farm just west of Albert City, Iowa on July 4, 1919 to Henry and Mable (Nelson) Anderson. Her father had gone to get the doctor, but Ruth was delivered by her grandparents who were visiting from Chicago.
As a child, Ruth helped her dad with chores around the farm. While in school, she enjoyed history and geography. She also enjoyed singing in the glee club and her love of music was evident throughout her life. As a junior in high school, she had a long case of scarlet fever. Ruth graduated on time from Albert City High School in 1937. Her high school class reunions were always important to her so she could reconnect with former classmates.
She attended Buena Vista College. For pin money, Ruth would set hair for the girls attending dances. She would sometimes splurge on a chocolate ice cream cone for five cents. Ruth graduated from BVC in 1939 with a two-year Normal Training Certificate. She taught in three, one-room schools. She enjoyed teaching the 3-4th grade age the most. The first school she taught was north of Laurens. Ruth attended night school with the family she boarded with at that time. It is here that she met a local farmer, Merle Bean, over one of the social times that were part of each session’s programs. They dated over the five years she taught.
Ruth and Merle were married on November 27, 1942 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They anticipated that Merle was going to have to serve in WWII, but his hearing loss prevented him from enlisting. Ruth and Merle began farming with a rented farm near Trimble Lake by Terril, Iowa. They raised cattle and row crops. Ruth substitute taught and was a part of the local Farm Bureau Ladies singing quartet. They joined the Methodist Church in Terril and were baptized in that church. Ruth and Merle farmed there until 1945 when they moved home to the farm where Ruth had been born. On the home farm, Ruth and Merle raised hogs, cattle, and milked some Holsteins. For many years, Ruth raised over 200 chickens and she sold eggs and fryers. Merle passed away unexpectedly in 1971. She moved to her house in town in 1978. She maintained her membership in the neighborhood women’s club and always put a lot of thought into the table setting and food when it was her turn to host.
When Ruth and Merle returned to the Albert City farm, they joined the Albert City Evangelical Free Church where she was a devoted member until her health didn’t allow her to attend church. Over the many years she was active in teaching Sunday School, serving as a Deaconess, organizing and helping with White Cross, the funeral committees and singing in the choir and a quartet.
Ruth worked in the kitchen of the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Albert City form 1967 until 2001. She would sometimes stay after work and play the piano for the residents. She would sing right along with them when she played those good old hymns she grew up with.
She was an excellent cook, making Angel food cakes from scratch without a mixer or written recipe and was known for her flaky pie crusts and Swedish rye bread. “Rye Bread Ruth” was coined as a fun name by her family. Ruth was also an excellent quilter, making many hand quilted blankets for her family to enjoy. She was a wonderful seamstress making clothing for herself and her family members. She also did alterations and patching for friends.
As frugal as Ruth learned to be growing up in the depression years, she always enjoyed setting a pretty table with colorful napkins, a pretty centerpiece, and a tasty food. She loved receiving cards as well as sending them. When she could no longer read the cards, she waited for someone in the home to read them to her. Then when family came she’d ask them to read the card to her again. She saved every card she got!
Ruth eventually was unable to live on her own and spent four years at a “grandma house” on the acreage where she was born, being cared for by Merlynn and Andy. She progressed to needing additional physical care and moved into the nursing home where she had served others. She had a sharp mind and greatly appreciated those who came to visit and chat with her until the end of her life. Her family appreciates the care and consideration given to Ruth’s well-being by her caretakers at Pleasant View Home, Care Initiatives Hospice, Dr. Schultz, neighbors and friends who came to visit.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Merle Bean; parents, Henry and Mable Anderson; parent-in-laws, George and Lillian Bean; sister, Lois and her husband Maurice Frykberg; sisters-in-law: Inabella (Don) Christiansen; Phyllis (Shorty) Giesking; bother-in-law, Ralph (Marge) Bean.
Ruth is survived by her son Merlynn and his wife Andrea “Andy” of Albert City, Iowa; grandchildren: Craig “CJ” (Christine) of Marathon, Iowa; Kaitlyn “Kate” (Mike) Bartling of Ackley, Iowa; seven great-grandchildren: Abbigail Bean, Emma Bartling, Leah Bean. Kooper Bean, Guthrie Bartling, Calvin Bean, and Noel Bean, who each lovingly referred to her as “G.G.”
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