Ruth Jane Nelson Harrington was born March 14, 1931, on the Dane Ridge family farm in Paradise Township. She grew up there under the loving care of her parents, Nels J. and Emma Marie (Weber) Nelson, alongside her older siblings, Irene and Lyell. Growing up on the farm Ruth Jane was very fond of animals, especially her saddle horse, Toby, dog, Puddles, and cat, Pussy Purr Mew.
Ruth Jane attended the Mullen Country School before entering the Dow City High School, where she was active in the drama department. She also participated in basketball. Ruth Jane graduated in 1949, making her a proud member of the “49er’s,” as she and her classmates called themselves.
She continued her education at an Omaha business school. Upon graduating, she gained employment with Mutual of Omaha. She worked there for over four years, before moving to Wichita, Kansas, living with her sister and brother-in-law for a brief time. In November 1954, she traveled to Florida where she married James Harrington. After a brief time, the couple divorced.
In May 1955, she began her 31-year career as a civil servant with Naval Air Station, Whiting Field, in Milton, Florida. Ruth Jane retired April 3, 1986. In April 2010, she moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, wanting to be closer to family and friends. She returned to Denison in the spring of 2014.
Ruth Jane became a member of the Eventide Community in December 2015. Ruth Jane was lovingly cared for by the Eventide staff until the time of her passing on December 9, 2020. She will be remembered for her love of reading, especially books by Louis L’Amour and John Grisham, dancing, and the care she provided for her family and others. While in Florida Ruth Jane was a faithful member of the Milton chapter of T.O.P.S and the Women’s Club. She was a member of the Milton Chapter #189 OES at the time of her passing.
Ruth Jane passed away on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at the Eventide Lutheran Home in Denison, Iowa attaining the age of eighty-nine years. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Irene and her husband LaVern Lambert; brother, Lyell Nelson and his wife Kay; nephew, Roger Lambert.
Left to cherish her memory, her nieces and nephews, Jeri and her husband Rick Vogt of Dow City; Tammy and her husband Tom Sitzmann of Merrill, Iowa; Rick Nelson and his wife Hollie of Dow City; 10 great nieces and nephews; 22 great-great nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.
Graveside Service is 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 14, 2020 in the Dow City Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Denison City Pound.