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Ruth Hermance, 96, formerly of Ogallala passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at her home in Portland, Oregon.
Ruth Edna Olson was born September 25, 1927, on the family farm in Lancaster County Nebraska. She was the youngest of the seven children of Oscar and Edna (Drimmie) Olson. She would follow her father in the fields, help with chores, and learned to fish and ride horses from him. From her mother, she learned to garden, bake, and enjoy reading, all of which became life-long passions.
Ruth graduated from Raymond, Nebraska High School and attended secretarial school in Lincoln where she met her best friends forever, Shirley, Bessie, and Vi with whom she shared many adventures including trips to Colorado to ski and to New York to see Broadway plays and other productions.
In 1952, Ruth married Cliff Hermance and together they raised five children - all graduates of Ogallala High School where Cliff taught and coached and where Ruth was an administrative assistant and para educator. She joined the staff of the Keith County News writing the award-winning “Reflections by Ruth” column, took up photography and contributed pictures to the paper, and became a life member of the Nebraska Press Women and National Federation of Press Women organizations. Ruth loved her newspaper work and advocated for women’s rights in the workforce at a time when the Women’s Rights movement was just beginning.
Her children remember her as a caring mother who was always there for them, whether making their clothes when they were young, getting them library cards, attending all of their sports, plays, band, and musical events, making dinners to fit their practice schedules, going to all parent-teacher conferences, and watching them graduate. Every year she always sent birthday cards to each of them, their spouses, their children, and grandchildren and never failed to note an anniversary or special accomplishment with a note, gift, or kind word. They also remember her as a creative person, always sewing, crocheting, knitting, baking, gardening, painting, re-decorating, and reciting poetry and book quotes.
Ruth enjoyed growing flowers, taking photographs, reading and participating in her book clubs, attending the First United Methodist Church, and being active in Church Circles. She enjoyed traveling to see her children and grandchildren, taking trips across the country and to Europe, and reuniting with family at mini-reunions and events whether at Lake McConaughy, Lincoln, or Colorado, and even in Sweden the birthplace of her father.
Ruth is survived by her children, Jeff (Katie) Hermance of Atlanta GA; Patti (Robert) Garsha of Portland OR; Judy (Neal) Burnham of Sycamore IL; Suzi of Ogallala, and Douglas (Myrna) of Ensenada Mexico; eleven grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and many wonderful cousins, nieces, and nephews who will forever remember her with love and respect.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Cliff, her parents, her sisters and brothers, and her granddaughter, Alisa Burnham.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 10:00 A.M. (MT) in the United Methodist Church in Ogallala with Rev. Curt Magelky officiating.
Inurnment will take place Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 2:00 P.M. (CT) in Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska where she will join Cliff, a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Flowers in her memory are welcome. Memorials may be directed to the Keith County Foundation Fund and Ogallala Library general fund.
The service will be live-streamed at www.drauckerfh.com http://www.drauckerfh.com.
Condolences may be left online at www.drauckerfh.com.
Draucker Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.