Ruth Anderson

Photo of Ruth Anderson

Ruth Evangeline Anderson, age 94, of Jefferson City, fell asleep for the final time on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 and – “in the twinkling of an eye” – awakened into Eternity in the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Due to His sacrifice, her “death has been swallowed up in victory.” (I Cor. 15:54). Ruth, thus, has never been more alive than she is at this very moment.
Ruth was born in Portland, Oregon on September 20, 1929 to William Francis and Ruth Margaret (Sundquist) Anderson. She was named after her mother, and her father’s favorite poem “Evangeline” – by American poet Henry Longfellow. She was the apple of her father’s eye, being the first daughter born into the family of, then, five sons. The family eventually numbered eight children: Carl, David, Matthew, Elving, Stanley, Ruth, Carolyn, and Paul. They were marked by their love for their Lord, and one another.
Ruth married Joseph Norman (Joe) Anderson on September 6, 1952. While Joe had many high-visibility positions and accomplishments in business, church, and as President of then-Jamestown College (now University of Jamestown), Ruth was every bit his equal in her impact on others, and was his perfect complement! Ruth was the solid rock on which their family of seven children was grounded. Over 11 years, she gave birth to five sons and two daughters: Peter Joseph, Timothy William, Paul Dwight, Matthew Thomas, Robin Elizabeth, Kathryn Ruth, and Charles Samuel.
During their 60 years of marriage, wherever Joe’s positions took them: Indianapolis, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; Jamestown, North Dakota; Edwardsville, Illinois; or finally Jefferson City, Missouri, the family was buttressed by a strong faith and a steadfast love, exquisitely exemplified by Ruth. With unwavering strength, Ruth gracefully balanced life with her husband’s responsibilities with raising their seven kids. She blessed the home, and church, with her musical talents: singing, and playing the piano and organ. She ensured that each of her kids felt uniquely-loved, making time to connect with each one individually. And she both loved to play – whether sports or board games – as well as watch her kids play, basketball particularly, but also supporting them in their other activities.
But truly, the Anderson home revolved around the family dinner table, where stories, teasing, and banter abounded, and much laughter and love were shared. Mom herself loved to laugh. Her laugh – even just the twinkle in her eye visible in her final days – was a joy in itself.
While quiet, and loathe to offend, Ruth (“Mom,” “Grams”) was fiercely proud and protective of her family: her husband, her seven children, her 17 grandchildren, and finally her six-going-on-seven great-grandchildren. Her playful spirit endured even to her interactions with her great-grandkids –positively beaming with delight playing Uno with her great-granddaughters.
Deeply rooted in her faith in, and love for, Jesus, Ruth loved reading her Bible and taking part in Bible Studies, both with women’s groups, and in a small group through church. And she loved to pray; indeed, she was a “prayer-warrior.” In her later days, she would often wear her bracelet with charms of each of her grandkids, and great-grandkids, and pray for each purposefully. But her prayers did not end with her family, they extended far-and-wide.
To the very end of her life on this earth, Ruth was blessed with a sharp mind and an even sharper wit. She will be missed terribly, which will make our reunion with her in Heaven all the sweeter.
Ruth Evangeline Anderson’s legacy lives on through her unwavering love of her family, the love she bestowed upon the many who came across her path, and her steadfast faith in God.
She is survived by her seven children: Pete (Jody), Tim (Debby), Paul, Matt (Nan), Robin (Matt) Cooper, Kathy Gunn, and Charlie (Angie); her 17 grandchildren: Joseph Roman (Alison) Anderson, Katelyn Marie (Kyle) Zimmer, James Pierce Anderson, Jack William Anderson, Daniel William (Paige) Anderson, Rachel Elizabeth (Pawel) Nabialek, David Timothy Anderson, William Wade Anderson, Matthew Jan Anderson, Grace Ann Anderson, Paul Christopher Anderson, Margaret Ruth Gunn, Sean Patrick Gunn, Ashley Marie (Seth) Burnham, Michael Charles Anderson, Samuel Edward Anderson, and Jacob Timothy Anderson; her six great-grandchildren: Kate London Nabialek, Mara Caroline Anderson, Della Ruth Anderson, Campbell Timothy Anderson, Roman Anderson Zimmer, and Jordan Pierce Anderson; her one surviving brother, Paul I. (Lorie) Anderson; and her numerous nieces and nephews.
Ruth’s life and legacy will be celebrated on Thursday, February 15 at Living Hope Church in Jefferson City, with Visitation at 1:00 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 p.m. A burial service will be held on Friday, February 16 at 9:45 a.m. at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo.
Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, are suggested to the “J.N. (Joe) and Ruth Anderson Scholarship” established at the University of Jamestown, Jamestown, N.D. Originally established in Joe’s honor, as a past-President of Jamestown College, and favoring students majoring in Religion, now, with the inclusion of Ruth’s name, the Scholarship will also favor students majoring in Music. Donations may be made to the Scholarship through UJ’s website: . There is a “Giving” tab at the upper right. Then, “Donate Now.” Finally, in the “Leave a Comment” box, you may indicate “J.N. (Joe) and Ruth Anderson Scholarship”. Or, they may be made via check (name of Scholarship on Memo Line) to: Development Department, University of Jamestown, 6082 College Lane, Jamestown, ND 58405.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

Published February 11, 2024