Ruth Emma Wilson Warren, age 94, died January 16, 2015, in Lawrence, her home since 2006.
She was born June 4, 1920, in Norfolk, NE, the daughter of Lucile and Floyd E. Wilson. She was preceded in death in 1987 by her husband, James V. Warren, and also preceded by her parents, brother and sister, several nieces, and two grandchildren: Brendon R. Doerr, and Meagan M. Warren. She is survived by her five children: James F. Warren (Holly) of Baltimore, MD; Andrea Warren (Jay Wiedenkeller, deceased), Prairie Village, KS; Steven F. Warren (Eva Horn), Lawrence; Mary L. Warren (Craig Warren) Birmingham, AL; and Debi Warren Fast (Jerry) of Kearney, NE. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Ruth married Jim, her college sweetheart, in 1941, a week before Pearl Harbor. After his enlistment in the navy, she lived with him on bases across the country and then with her parents while he served in the South Pacific. After the war they moved to Newman Grove, NE, where Jim was a teacher and coach.
Ruth taught briefly, then retired to motherhood and community service. The family lived for four years in Medford, OR, returning to Newman Grove when Jim was appointed superintendent of schools. Later moves took them to Superior, NE, and finally to Hastings, where Ruth lived nearly 40 years. She and Jim saw all five children through college and into solid careers. Her volunteer work included the League of Women Voters, the YWCA, Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood, P.E.O., and many Methodist church activities. She served as executive director of the Hastings YWCA during the acquisition and renovation of its current building. She was able to visit much of the US and Europe. After Jim’s death she even traveled to Japan with a group of Hastings College students.
She moved to Lawrence Presbyterian Manor in 2006 to be close to family. They were always her first priority and she took a lively interest in every one of them. Her grandchildren came to her biologically, through adoption, and through marriage and she loved each one equally, never forgot names, and acknowledged every birthday and special occasion. Growing up during the Great Depression had made her both thrifty and a careful saver, but she had a charitable heart and was always generous to numerous organizations. She was progressive in her views about families and societies and cheered for the underdog. She was a devoted Christian and had no tolerance for bigotry of any sort. She loved sports, especially anything associated with the Jayhawks and Cornhuskers, and never missed their games on television. To communicate with family, she learned how to do e-mail and Facebook. She enjoyed playing bridge, worked the New York Times crossword puzzle daily, read constantly, participated in book club, and was a fan of Jeopardy, PBS documentaries, and Downton Abbey. She felt fortunate to live her final years at Presbyterian Manor. She hadn’t expected to live so long, but made the most of it right until the end, when she died peacefully with family by her side.
Ruth will be interred in Hastings, NE on March 7. Her family invites friends to a service of remembrance in her honor at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor at 4 p.m., January 31.
Memorials may be sent to the Presbyterian Manor Good Samaritan Fund, 1429 Kasold St., Lawrence, KS 66049.