Ruby L. (Armstrong) Swanson

October 27, 1917 ~ February 17, 2021 (age 103)


Ruby Swanson, 103, of St. Croix Falls, WI passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

She lived a full and rich life and touching the lives of all who knew her, and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

Ruby was born on October 27, 1917 at the farmhouse of her paternal grandfather in Cushing, Wisconsin. Her uncle was delegated the duty of getting a midwife in horse-drawn cutter during the first blizzard of the season. That was quite a task as it was an eight-mile trip.  

She grew up on a farm in Eureka Township and went to elementary school at the Manitou Lake Country School and attended high school in St. Croix Falls. She excelled at her studies and upon graduating attended the Polk County Normal School. This was during the Great Depression, so she worked at an office to pay her tuition. She then entered the work force as a teacher at Sunnyside School near Clear Lake making $75 a month. She taught all 8 grades and started the fire each morning at the school.

Ruby married Rey Swanson at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa in 1939.  Cash was short so an expensive wedding was out of the question. Ruby and Rey worked a couple of years at the Barrington Hills Country Club near Chicago to save money to buy a farm.  They bought Rey’s father’s farm, 80 acres in Sterling Township just west of Cushing, in 1948. She lived on the farm for over 6 decades, living alone for the last 13 years, after Rey’s death, until she was 98 years old.

Life on the farm was busy.  Livestock including dairy and beef cattle, hogs, sheep, horses, ducks and geese and the occasional goat. There was a very mean rooster in addition to family pets - dogs, cats, and parakeets.

She was an attentive mother and grandmother, a continually active church volunteer, and an incredibly supportive housewife. Her hobbies included knitting, crocheting, and doing crossword puzzles (she was still doing the New York times crossword puzzles past age 100).  She was very well read and closely followed local and national news.  Ruby was an avid poet, able to recite full poems learned in elementary school, as well as writing poems for her entire family.

She raised 3 children and one of her proudest accomplishments was putting them all through college and graduate school.

Ruby was an excellent baker and cook (learned her trade making two hot meals a day for farm hands, threshing crews, and hired men, including dessert for every meal). Her recipes were collected and passed down to her grandchildren.

They built a cabin on Bone Lake in 1950, which provided many happy days of water sports and relaxation. 

 Rey was an avid Barbershopper. Rey and Ruby attended the International competition events for 13 years, visiting cities like San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Banff and Nashville.  They enjoyed a Scandinavian Tour in the mid-1980's.

Ruby was a member of the First Lutheran Church, Cushing, Wisconsin, being baptized there in 1918 and still a member when she passed (103 year membership at the same church!).

Ruby leaves to celebrate her memory: children, Douglas (Kathleen McCauley) Swanson, Stillwater, MN and Sally Pilcher, Belle Plaine, MN; grandchildren, Tad Swanson, Keri (Brian) Wertish, Megan (Brian) Evert, Erin (Greg) Slavik, Jeremy (Katy) Pilcher, Jena Swanson and Justin Swanson; great-grandchildren, Sydney and Jackson Wertish, Isabelle Swanson, Adelyn and Cameron Evert, Madison and Brayden Slavik and Lydia Pilcher; daughter-in-law, Joan Swanson; sister, Carmen Macoskey and many other loving family and friends. She was preceded in death by: parents, Roy and Jennie Armstrong; husband, Rey Swanson; son, Jamie Swanson and brother, Erling Armstrong.

There will be a visitation at Kolstad Family Funeral Home in Centuria, WI on Monday, March 8, 2021 from 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. A Private Family Funeral  Service will be held at First Lutheran Church in Cushing with Pastor Angie Kutney officiating. Pallbearers will be Tad Swanson, Jeremy Pilcher, Justin Swanson, Erin Slavik, Jena Swanson and Keri Wertish. She will be laid to rest at Cushing Cemetery in Cushing, WI.

Memorials can be given to WELCA at the First Lutheran Church, 2385 250th Avenue, Cushing, WI  54006.

Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Centuria, WI has been entrusted with arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruby L. (Armstrong) Swanson, please visit our floral store.


March 8, 2021

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Kolstad Family Funeral Home
301 Fourth Street
Centuria, Wisconsin 54824

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