Our loving mother has left us. On March 19, 2021, with one final breath, 97 years of her being our rock, our guide, our strength, was over. Ruth Swenson Johnson returned to join her heavenly family just 3 years short of her 100th birthday.
Ruth was born on May 11, 1924, in Soda Springs, Idaho to Lewis and Naomi Swenson. She was raised on a farm in a canyon the state of Idaho recently named Swenson Canyon in their honor. She rode her horse, Old Bud, to a one-room schoolhouse and excelled at learning. Ruth, and later her family, moved to Provo, Utah in time for her to attend Provo High School. She graduated when she was 16. She attended BYU until WWll broke out when she went to work for the Red Cross at Hill Air Force Base.
She was the last of Lewis and Naomi’s children to pass, preceded by Helen Swenson Eastmond (Jack), John Swenson, (Verlaine), Beth Swenson Walker (Ellis), Eugene Swenson (LaVieve), and Lynn Swenson (Jaque). She is survived by Jaque Swenson. As the last living of the Swenson family, mom, and Aunt Jaque would joke that they were the last two leaves on the tree, and they could feel a breeze.
Ruth married Dean Johnson on December 27, 1946, in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were introduced to each other by Dean’s mother. There are times mom knows best and this was one. After being blessed with five children, and having the joy of surviving our tumultuous lives, our dad Wilford Dean Johnson left us in January 1982. Mom continued to be our rock. There was nothing she could not fix or see us through. She will go on in the strength and love she instilled in her family.
Mom had an incredible sense of adventure. From chasing turkeys in a plane, riding a bull or a camel, to working for the Red Cross. Mom traveled with Aunt Helen to Norway, England, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Branson, and Hawaii. She loved the challenge of travel and exciting new places.
Mom was a gifted seamstress. From doll clothes when we were young, our clothes as we grew, draperies that helped her pay for our educations, wedding dresses crafted to make her daughters shine on their special days, to quilts that grace the beds of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and will be cherished forever. Her strong hands could throw batting and fabric over quilting frames and tables. Her magic fingers could work a needle swiftly as she sat, head bent, over her perfectly spaced stitches. As we sat by her those last few days, we noted her tired fingers still quilted in her sleep.
Ruth loved our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. Her testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith was Pioneer strong. She served everywhere; from leadership to nursery, from working in the Temple to driving the ward’s ladies in labor to the hospital. We’re making her sound like an angel; to us she was. She defined a good and faithful servant.
Ruth is survived by her children; Karen Luke (Randy), Julie Dodge (Dana- deceased), Laurie Capece (Nick), Cheryl Mayne (Brad), Kirk Johnson (Tracy), 14 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. She is also survived by the many friends she made in Salt Lake, Wayne, NJ, and Coppell, TX. She touched the lives of so many. We want to add special thanks to Julie and Dana Dodge and Cheryl and Brad Mayne for taking mom into their homes and giving her so much love.
Mom was, as we are, very aware that Covid is still a presence in our lives. Please use discernment in deciding whether to attend the graveside services. We have received many tributes to mom and know how much she was loved. Please honor her by sharing a story on her page at www.larkincares.com. It will brighten our lives to read your memories.
A family-only viewing will be held at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road, Sandy, Utah on Monday, March 29, 2021, from 12:00 – 12:30 pm. A short graveside service, open to everyone, will follow at 12:45. Covid restrictions will apply.