Ruth Haag, our beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, life-long friend and the devoted wife of 62 years to our awesome dad passed away peacefully early Friday morning, August 26, 2022, at Whisper Cove Assisted Living Center in Kaysville, Utah. She was still hugging her dear little stuffed puppy "Toddles" when she left this mortal life. Her enthusiasm and contagious positive attitude will continue radiating into the next chapter of her eternal journey where she was met by her 'singing cowboy' and love of her life, Al Haag. What a long awaited, glorious and 'romantic' reunion that must have been! She was also lovingly received by her dear father Jess, mother Winifred, brothers John and Dennis, and her sister Editha. But the most wonderful surprise would be her seeing her youngest son, Jon Haag, who preceded her in death just a year ago, while her mind did not understand that sad reality.
Ruth Pauline Bowman Haag was born into very humble circumstances in the wild west town of Big Timber, Montana on July 14, 1937, as the Great Depression years dragged on. She was the third of four girls along with three older mountain-men brothers. She was taught from an early age from the Holy Bible by her hard-working Ohio grandma Etta Teter Smith and her kind mother, Winifred Bowman. She was blessed with a simple God-given but powerful faith that Jesus was her personal Savior and friend. It was a deep faith that she shared willingly. She was also taught a life-long love for this great country by her adventurous father, Jess Bowman. Despite her very limited opportunities, she was blessed with a naturally happy disposition and self-confidence to believe she could become the 'kind of woman she wanted to become'. She was the Valedictorian of her country school in historic Reed Point, Montana. Ruth always loved to dress up and was a very beautiful woman, both inside and out. Her interest in cosmetology caused her to leave home at just 15 years old and complete her Acme College of Beauty degree from Billings, Montana by the time she was just 17. It was at this time she met the man of her dreams, Al Haag...a guitar picker and singing Montana boy who was recently back from the U.S. Navy. Al taught young Ruth to dance and share in his country band lifestyle. 'Dressed to the nines' they looked like a couple right off of a 1950's movie screen. In a whirl wind romance they eloped 1,400 miles to Nogales, Mexico and were married in early 1955...with the entire ceremony in Spanish! They were soon blessed with three blond toe-headed boys: Alan, Tracy and Jon between 1955 and 1961. And finally Ruth got her little princess, Jane Alana, in the fall of 1964. In the purest terms, Ruth loved being a mom! She didn't need other accolades or worldly titles to help her 'find herself'. She knew exactly who she was and needed no false reinforcement.
She and Al spent the first 40 years of their lives in Santa Barbara, California and in Henderson, Nevada, raising a loud, rambunctious and talented family. During these years Ruth did thousands of haircuts and beauty appointments, while making hundreds of friends along the way. When Ruth wasn't being a full-time mom, she enjoyed jobs that allowed her to still have fun and be around lots of people. She worked eight years for the Ethel M Candy Co. as their top sales gal and also became a record setting Avon lady in the southern Nevada region. Ruth and Al's home was known for being an 'open house' to many young people who were and became lifelong friends of the family. No one was ever turned away at the Haag household. "The more the merrier" was the family's motto. Ruth loved the Holy Bible, especially the New Testament. She and her sweetheart Al made heart felt changes in their lives to increase their spiritual focus and had their marriage sealed eternally in the Los Angeles Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on May 4th, 1977 on Al's 48th birthday.
After Al retired as a Painting and Decorating Union contractor in 1994, Ruth and Al moved to scenic Kanab in southern Utah where they made many new friends. They built an extensive 7,000+ volume library and helped many neighbors, but a strong desire to serve God and help those less fortunate impressed Ruth and Al to get out of their comfortable lifestyle and serve a challenging yet very rewarding full-time LDS mission to far away Russia from 1996 to 1998. This changed their lives forever and their impact among the humble people of central Russia for good is lasting and immeasurable. Upon returning home they traveled to the Holy Land, fulfilling yet another life-long dream. Other journeys took them to China, Europe, Central America, Canada, and Mexico. They even lived in Hawaii for six months while Al picked out Hawaiian songs on his island guitar and even tried his skills at surfing! Ruth and Al were always a team and were rarely apart. They grew old together...but gracefully.
After their adventures in Russia, they decided to head back to the 'Big Sky Country' of Montana of their youth. Having an opportunity to live in an early 1900's homestead on a beautiful ranch owned by their son Tracy, they pulled up roots again and started a new adventure. Their years from 2000 to 2019 were years of reading books, fixing up the 'ol homestead, playing music, and of course, dancing, while also enjoying the grandkids, and watching classic western movies.
After Al's death in late December of 2016, Ruth was never quite the same. You don't get over a 62-year romance, especially with someone who is also your dearest friend. Yes, she was still an enthusiastic grandma and spent her minimum 3-4 hours a day on the telephone...but the love and light of her life was gone. Ruth was very lonely, and her mind began to fade. Her family brought her down to Utah in the Spring of 2020 to be closer to her grandkids. She spent the final two years of her generous life at Whisper Cove Assisted Living Center in Kaysville, Utah until her peaceful passing on August 26, 2022. Despite the aggressiveness of her cognitive decline, Ruth never lost her daily positive attitude and smile. Anyone who knocked on her door would hear her distinctive enthusiastic clapping response! It was a truly joyful sound that everyone recognized. She showed us all that you don't have to have a perfect body and mind to make a true difference in the daily lives of others.
As her children and friends, we would like to especially thank the incredibly loving and professional staff at Whisper Cove Assisted Living in Kaysville, Utah...and in particular, her sweet friend and hospice nurse, Cassidee and amazing facility director, Nikkia. These angelic staff girls at Whisper Cove 'were her life' over these past two years through the immeasurable challenges from COVID and the ravages of dementia.
Ruth Pauline Haag is survived by her three children: Alan (Linda), Tracy (Becky), Jane Alana (Dean) and her angelic daughter-in-law, Annette Haag. Ruth said before her death that she wanted each one of her grandchildren mentioned by name and not just by a number. She leaves behind a great family legacy with 15 grandchildren...Amy Haag Thornton, John Haag, Shane Haag, Jenny Wade, Jessi Wade, Jake Haag, Joshua Haag, Sarah Haag, Zach Haag, Matt Haag, Mandy Haag, Brandon Mason, Deano Mason, Lacey Lee Mason, and Ryder Mason. She also has five amazing great grandchildren...John Logan Thornton, London Thornton, Ava Thornton, Allie Haag, and Indiana Haag. She is also survived by her older brother, Lee Bowman of Reed Point, Montana and her older sister, Anna Todd, and younger sister, Mary Nell Norris...both of Zanesville, Ohio. She also wanted her many loving nieces and nephews to know how much she will miss them. We look forward with a perfect brightness of hope to a 'glorious reunion'.