Ruth Cleo (Muxlow) Timmons was born January 26, 1919 to Harry and Minnie (Neuman) Muxlow on the family farm between Hartley and Sanborn, Iowa. She received her elementary education in a rural, one-room country school house. Her high school years were spent in Hartley where she lived with her grandmother. Following graduation from Hartley High School, Ruth took on the responsibility of caring for a set of twins, which led to an interest in nursing.
After some encouragement from a county nurse who Ruth had met while active in 4-H, she attended nurses training through the Methodist Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, graduating in 1940. This launched what would be a passion and focus that continued all her life. She provided nursing care at hospitals in Sioux City, Sheldon, Iowa, Sibley, Iowa, Worthington, Minnesota and Hartley. Ruth often spoke of inspiring nursing moments, including assisting with the birth of triplets. She continued to share her calling until her retirement at age 72.
It was during her working years that Ruth met a fellow nurse, Dorothy, whose brother was Merlin Timmons. The rest, as they say, is history. She and Merlin were united in marriage on September 10, 1943 at the home of her parents in rural Sanborn; the same house where she was born. After living one year in Ocheyedan, Iowa, Merlin and Ruth settled at the Muxlow farm in 1945. They were blessed with a daughter, Linda Carol, and a son, Douglas Lynn. Ruth was a true optimist. When Linda was stricken with polio in 1950, Ruth displayed the proverbial phrase: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. She was an inspiration to everyone.
Ruth was a 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star where she held the office of Worthy Matron. She was honored to be the Grand Representative to North Carolina in 1988-89. Ruth was also active locally in Federated Club, Sunshine Club, and Tuesday Club. She was a member of the Sanborn United Methodist Church and later in life, the Hartley Methodist Church.
Ruth loved to cook and entertain, meet new people and travel to new places. Angels, coffee, and the color blue were also on her “favorites” list. Her kitchen table was always ready for anyone who might stop by to share conversation, a cup of hot coffee, and some of her great cooking. Her grandsons called her “Rha Rha”, and nothing made her happier than the time those little boys spent at the farm…and they loved it too! The aroma and taste of her raisin oatmeal cookies and coffee cake, and the love that went into making them, will forever be in our hearts and minds.
Grateful to have shared her life are her son, Doug (Chris) Timmons of Ames, Iowa; two grandsons: Dan (Shalyn) Timmons and their sons: Jonah and Seth of Irving, Texas and Scott (Melanie) Timmons and their daughter, Corinne and son, Keller of Arlington, Texas; sister-in-law, Eloise Goodell of Sibley, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Ruth also leaves behind many treasured friends whom she always called “family she chose”.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Linda Carol; and her husband, Merlin.