Resident Spotlight: Ruth Swarthout

February 25, 2016

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Ruth Swarthout was born on a snowy Tulsa, Oklahoma day on January 14, 1928. Ruth was one of eight children born to Vada and Albert Wing. Ruth shared the loving names her family has for her … “My brothers called me Ruthie, my children call me Mom or Mother, my grandchildren call me Mommer, my great grandchildren will call me Mommer, I think.”
“One of the first things I remember when I was a child was our first radio. Daddy bought a radio in a nice cabinet. He was showing us how it had stations around the world, and tuned into a station from Mexico. I liked listening to Lux Theater, The Green Hornet and many others. Mother enjoyed listening to Ma Perkins, a soap opera on the radio. My brothers made transistor radios out of little stones and wires. Not sure how they did that, but they did.”
“We moved to Turley, OK when I was six years old and went to school through the fifth grade. Then we moved to Tulsa, OK and I went to Lowell school through the 9th grade. My family sang and played instruments. Daddy taught me to read music, my brothers played instruments and sang. Lawrence played the guitar, Joe played the piano, Eulis wrote songs, and Norris sang in many quartets. Norris, Eulis and I sang in a trio mostly at churches.”
“I met Bill, my soon to be husband, in Church. In fact, his mother was my Sunday school teacher. One of our first dates was to watch fireworks on the 4th of July. We went together for 1½ years. Bill wanted to go in the army as soon as he became 18 so we decided to get married before he left. He was in boot camp at Camp Hood, Texas in February of 1944. I went as soon as I could to live close to him in Belton, Texas. Bill only got to come home on the weekends if the Sergeant was in a good mood. Sometimes I went out to the camp on a bus. While Bill and I were in Blackstone, we went to Washington DC on a bus full of soldiers, and I was the only girl on the bus. We went to see the George Washington monument and saw the cherry trees in full bloom. They were beautiful! On the steps of the White House the Marine Band had a concert, what a treat. Bill went overseas from there, and was in the Black Forest in Germany. It was dark; the pine trees were so thick the sun couldn’t get through, and it was so cold. They were in fox holes ready for the enemy. They didn’t have enough clothes to keep them warm, no over coats. His feet were hurting him so badly so he took off his boots and when he did his feet swelled up so big he couldn’t get his boots back on. They took him back behind the lines, then on to the hospital in England. That night was the Battle of the Bulge: the Germans came and took out most of the unit. If it hadn’t been for Bills feet being frozen he would not have come home. We believe it was God’s way of saving Bill’s life. I can’t begin to thank the Lord enough for that miracle. When Bill got home from being overseas we had our family of three, Jerry Ann, Billie Ruth, and Lee. I stayed at home to raise our children and Bill went to work for the post office. When our children were older, I became a Stanley dealer selling household products, brushes, brooms and more. We would have parties in homes and I was one of the top sales leaders for the district at one time. I even got to go to Oklahoma City for a banquet to be honored and I received a prize as well. I worked for Stanley for seven years. After that, I worked for National Trailer Convoy in the driver’s pay department. They moved house trailers all over the United States. I would add up their miles on an adding machine. I stayed with them for 11 years.”
“Bill and I bought a lot in Bella Vista Arkansas in 1972 and built our home in 1974. We loved the hills and would walk in the woods. We continued to travel and we enjoyed making new friends. We celebrated our 50th anniversary in the summer of 1993.”
“Bill passed away in October 18, 2010 and is dearly missed. I moved to University Village April 1, 2012 to be close to our kids. It was a tough transition but the people here are very warm and friendly, so it makes it easy to have friends. I enjoy Chaplain Merle’s sermons and love the hymns we sing. Kathy Gustafson, our Life Enrichment Coordinator, keeps us really busy. I like the neat music programs, the luncheons and the socials. I enjoy being part of the UV Okies Wii Bowling Team, going on day & mystery trips, the writing class, bingo, choir and more. And I am currently on the Resident Advisory Committee serving as Chairman.”

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