Ruth Zephyr Johnson

Ruth Zephyr Johnson

Ruth Zephyr Johnson, 95, passed away at Clarkson Health Care in Rapid City, SD on September 2, 2014.

Ruth was born March 7, 1919 in Rushville, Nebraska to loving parents, Lee and Leona (Mohr) Talbot. She lived with her parents and brother Lee on a ranch 15 miles north of Rushville.  She attended a one room school house some distance from her home and rode her horse to class. She graduated from Rushville High School where she was a fun-loving, popular student. Ruth briefly attended Chadron State College and then went to beauty school in Denver. After her girls left home, Ruth worked at Stockmens National Bank.

Ruth married a local boy, Bennett Johnson, October 11, 1942. She supported her husband while he served in the Navy in Idaho and Washington. After the War they returned to Rushville to live the rest of their lives. In late 2005, health needs necessitated a move to assisted living facilities in Rapid City, SD.

Ruth was a member of the Presbyterian, later the Methodist Church and their various women’s organizations. She enjoyed serving at numerous church functions where her lemon pies were requested. She was also a member of PEO and Eastern Star. She was a devoted supporter of her children’s activities, serving as 4-H leader, Brownie leader and Band Parent. Ruth was also a beautiful seamstress and able to sew the entire wardrobes for two daughters. Besides sewing, Ruth and Bennett raised a bountiful garden each year and she did a lot of canning to be enjoyed throughout the year. She was fond of her flowers and especially liked gladiolas.

Survivors include two daughters and their families: Beth (Greg) Hunter of Rapid City, SD; Karen (Gary) Hollstein of Dakota Dunes, SD. Grandchildren include Crystal (Gary) Day of Rapid City, SD; Paul (Kelly) Hollstein of Lincoln NE; Carolyn Hollstein of Kansas City, KS; Scott (Brittney) Hunter of Kansas City, KS. One special great grandson, Ethan Bennett Day, brightened Ruth’s last four years. Two sisters-in-law survive: Leilah Talbot of Rapid City and Evaline Norman of Crawford, NE. nieces, nephews, and numerous friends will also miss Ruth.

Ruth was preceded in death by her loving husband Bennett, her parents, brother Lee, 4 brothers-in-law, and 3 sisters-in-law.

A niece said it best: “Ruth was Genuine, True, Direct, Honest, Encouraging, Wise,

Dependable and Practical.” Ruth was the epitome of a Homemaker in an era when that title was valued and respected. Her Job in life was her family and they will miss her very much. She was a gentle soul.

A Celebration of Life memorial service was held September 6, 2014 at the Morse Memorial United Methodist Church with Pastor Paul Smith and Pastor Al Trucano officiating.  Inurnment of her ashes will be in the Fairview Cemetery.

Memorials have been established to the Methodist Church and the Rushville Volunteer Fire Department.

Friends may sign her online guest register at

Last modified onThursday, 16 October 2014 08:34

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