Ruth Esther (Jackson) Sweat, age 102, passed away on Sunday, February 17, 2013 at her home in Smith Center, KS. Ruth was born south of Stockton, KS on the family farm November 25, 1910 to Charles Wilbur "C.W." and Effie Blanche (Wendover) Jackson. She was the middle child with an older sister Pauline and younger brother Ralph. The family moved to Kirwin when Ruth was in the 6th grade where her father worked in the flour mill with his uncle. The family moved to Claudell in southwest Smith County in 1925. There was a dance hall there where many young people came on weekends. The Jackson girls liked to dance and that was where Perry Sweat first noticed her. He took her on their first date in the fall of 1927 to Hays to a John Phillips Sousa concert on the college campus. Ruth had graduated high school in Kirwin at the age of 16 1/2 and attended Stockton High School as a post graduate while she lived with her blind maternal grandmother. She taught country school for 1 year (1928-1929) before she married Perry Sweat on November 30, 1929 at her grandmother Wendover's house in Stockton and had over 69 years of marriage together. The marriage was officiated by a Catholic priest. The couple lived that winter with Perry's parents, Martin and Rosa Sweat on their farm until the spring of 1930 when they moved to their own farm 1 mile south of Claudell and 1/2 mile west.
Three sons were born on that farm, Francis Joseph in 1931, Denis Lyle in 1934 and Morris Edward in 1938. Their only daughter, Rosalie Ruth was born in 1945 in Kensington, KS. Ruth was a charter member of the 4-C Extension Club for the 60 years it existed. Members came from four counties (Smith, Osborne, Rooks & Phillips). She was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Claudell after Francis's Baptism until Mass began being held in Smith Center in the 60's. Perry and Ruth had moved to Smith Center in April 1952 where they lived just southwest of the city limits on 13 acres. She was an Altar Society member in her local parish.
She and Perry enjoyed square dancing for three decades or more in Smith County and their trips with friends to other locations in KS and southern NE from time to time. Ruth accompanied Perry on various trips he earned in connection with selling Farm Bureau Insurance; for example, Atlantic City. They also traveled to various locations in the western U.S. including Hawaii twice for meetings of the National Water Resources Association. She looked forward to traveling and kept detailed accounts of their trips together. Ruth always loved to read, write letters and submitted information to the local Pioneer newspaper regarding family functions and visitors. She was ever vigilant about sending birthday cards and anniversary cards to family and friends.
She is survived by three sons, Francis Sweat and wife Colette, Denis Sweat and wife Wilma all of Cedar, KS, Morris Sweat and wife Kristine of Bellevue, NE; a daughter, Rosalie Meyer of Lincoln, NE; sixteen grandchildren, thirty-one great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Perry in July of 1999, a brother Ralph Jackson, a sister Pauline Hefner and one grandson Mark Sweat in 1982.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the St Mary's Catholic Church, Smith Center with Father Charles Awotwi officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 22, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the All Faiths Funeral Chapel, Smith Center. Rosary services will be held Friday, February 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the St. Mary's Catholic Church, Smith Center. Burial will be in the St. Francis Cemetery, Claudell, KS. Memorials may be give to the St. Joseph's Indian School and/or H.E.L.P for Philippine Children in care of the funeral chapel. www.allfaithsfuneralchapel.com
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