Ruth Swanson

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died June 20, 2008

Ruth Ingeborg (nee. Janson) Swanson, RN, 92, died June 20, 2008 at OSF after a brief illness. She was born March 17, 1916 in Chicago, IL, daughter of Hilde Emil and Ulrika Amalia (Larson) Janson, who were Swedish immigrants living in Chicago.
Having taken her nurse

0 Tributes for “Ruth Swanson

    Ruth has been a dear, Christian friend to me and sister in Christ over the past fifteen years. She and her dear husband, George were my neighbors on S. 8th Street. We shared many meals, coffee, cookies and good fellowship. Ruth was a very selfless person and a good Godly example to me. I will miss her, but rejoice in her home-going! In Christ, Barb
    Barbara Waterman Muehlhaus
    Escanaba, MI

    When I was a little girl wanting to grow up and be a nurse just like my Aunt Ruth, she stocked my pretend office with a Merck Manual, empty medicine bottles, and a stethoscope. She taught me how to make up a bed “correctly” by creating “hospital corners, ” the bottom sheet pulled so taut she could bounce a dime on it. When I was 15, she got me a job at “her” hospital where she was a charge nurse. As she had done with Bible verses to memorize, she made flash cards of medical terms for me to study and for her to quiz me on. All through my life, Ruth has been there and I loved picking strawberries with her as much as I loved hearing stories of her early life in Sweden, of my mother and Ruh braiding each other’s hair, and of growing up in Chicago, then volunteering her services as an RN in World War II, and then working in hospitals as well as in in Maywood, IL with the Swanson family as a private duty nurse for George’s mother, even before she married him. O, and he was a wonderful man –full of life and laughter and energy… and what a couple they made, George teasing and Ruth giving him back as good as she got. I remember camping up in their woods with my Mom and Dad. I remember visiting them in Florida, and I remember Ruth’s constant stream of letters –we LOVED writing to one another: what a joy and how I’ll miss it. Later in life, I remember Uncle George and my Dad out in the woods cutting felled birch trees for firewood while Ruth and my Mama, Ruth’s sister, and I were inside that cabin George had built after WWI out there on Hwy 13, making strawberry jam.

    And I remember Ruth taking care of everyone she could who needed her help. She stayed with me through high childhood fevers, sponging me cool throughout night she sat up with me, a pink-lidded nightlight helping her keep watch.

    And now, I am comforted by an image which has recently settled upon me like a blessing, like a cashmere sweater cuddled onto the shoulders just at the chill of twilight –I see Ruth entering their cabin and taking off her work gloves as George welcomes her home with his arms open and a big smile, a fire newly laid in the river rock fireplace for their evening comfort and companionship.

    Linnea Johnson
    Topeka, KS

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