Ruth James Hill Hager, 94, was born on March 16, 1916, on a farm near Stanley, Iowa. She passed from this life on February 22, 2011 at Westminster Manor Health Care Center, Austin, Texas. She was the eldest of three children (Ruth, Kenneth, and Keith) of Derelle and Lizzie James. Her grandfathers, Henry James and W. G. Lincoln, were longtime farmers in the Stanley area.
On April 19, 1936, Ruth married Richard Hill, son of George and Fae Hill of Stanley, Iowa. Richard worked for Rath Packing Co. in Waterloo, Iowa, for many years. Both Richard and Ruth were baptized at the Burton Avenue Baptist Church in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1937. After several moves to several states, they finally settled in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1958.
Ruth retired from the City of Phoenix in 1981, after working for many years for the Phoenix City Library and the City of Phoenix Police Department. Richard died in 1978 and Ruth married Francis Hager, formerly of Perry, Iowa, in 1991. Francis died in 1996, in Phoenix, Arizona. Ruth moved to Austin, Texas, and Westminster Manor in 1998.
Ruth is survived by her twin sons, James Hill (Jackie) of Orlando, Florida, and Gene Hill (Eleanor) of Austin, Texas; a stepdaughter, Judy Leecy of Phoenix, Arizona; grandsons Michael (Janna), Jeff (Audrey), Brad and Jason Hill; granddaughter Julie Veeser (Ed); and eight great grandchildren (Allyson and Andrew Hill, Emma Scout, Austin, Ella, and Pippa Hill; and Will and Nate Veeser; one brother, Keith James of Strawberry Point, Iowa; sisters-in-law Violet James of Stanley, Iowa, and Mildred Sefert of Oelwein, Iowa.
Ruth had the gift of writing and spelling. Her children and grandchildren loved reading her typed letters all through the years. In 1985, when she was 69 years old, she entered the Fayette County Fair Spelling Bee, at the urging of son Jim who happened to be there, and became the Grand Champion by spelling “arroyo.” Ruth always loved red and wore lots of red clothes. Her husband Richard made sure she wore red when he took pictures of her.
During her years in Austin, Texas, Ruth was a faithful member of Hyde Park Baptist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Hyde Park Baptist Foundation, 3901 Speedway, Austin, Texas, 78751.
Services will be held at Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein, Iowa, at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 26, 2011, with the Reverend Phil Rownd officiating. Interment will be at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Hazleton, Iowa.