ForeverMissed
Ruth Ann Henderson (Selman), 97, proud wife of Craig and fiercely protective mother to children Larry, Jim and Carol, took her last breath on Saturday, March 27, 2021 with a smile on her face. She had lived through the Depression, World War II and a pandemic and finally succumbed to advanced dementia after one hell of a fight. All three of her children were able to visit her and kiss her cheek within the last week of her life, and she smiled in recognition of each one.
Ruth Ann, as she was always called whenever she was back home, was born on September 27, 1923 in Davis County, Iowa (or God’s Country) to JJ and Mattie Selman.  Though we never asked her, she likely would have said the best day of her life was when she was 15 and a handsome 19-year-old Craig (who she secretly had her eye on) saw her walking home from school and stopped his fast car to ask her to go roller skating with him. She graduated from Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, Iowa in 1941 (with the help of her future husband who had to get her through high school so he could marry her) and was married to James Craig Henderson on October 18 of that same year. She spent the next couple of years following him around the country as he trained to be a pilot with the Army Air Corps, finally returning to Iowa after he was deployed to the South Pacific in early 1944.
After Craig returned from the war in 1946, Ruth Ann worked alongside him as a farm wife and extra hand in the field. Later, they purchased a small general store in Belknap, Iowa which Ruth ran while Craig traveled the midwest as a farm implement salesman. She was also the postmaster for the area, something she was incredibly proud of. Because she didn’t have quite enough to do, she decided to have a couple of babies, Larry in 1947 and Jim in 1955. Carol came along in 1959 after they had sold the store and moved into town, living first in Des Moines, IA, then Columbia, MO and finally Owatonna, MN. She settled into being a wife and mother, with some part-time grocery cashier work thrown in there so she didn’t get bored.
Ruth loved road trips and after Craig’s retirement, Ruth traveled the country with him-always by car. They wintered in Mission, Texas for a number of years, too. After Craig’s death in 1999, Ruth decided to sell the Owatonna house of 32 years and move to Albuquerque, New Mexico for 5 years and then returned to Minnesota where she spent the remainder of her life, except for one last road trip in November of 2020 to Tucson, Arizona where she smiled that last smile.
She loved her husband, her kids and their better halves, her grandkids and great grandkids, McDonald’s hamburgers, ice cream, state fairs, basketball, sweet corn, bacon and a good beer. And she loved to laugh.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Craig, parents JJ and Mattie, brother Frederick, sister Margaret and brother John Jr.. Ruth was the last remaining member of the family’s Greatest Generation. She is survived by son Larry (Melody) of Carlsbad, CA, son Jim (Maureen) of Eden Prairie, MN and daughter Carol (Tim Pegors) of St. Louis Park, MN, grandchildren Jason, Darcy, Krissa, Craig and Jamie and 7 great grandchildren (Zoe, Fischer, Sophie, Jaedan, Evelyn, Lars and Berit.) She also leaves behind many Facebook fans who followed her final years online and affectionately knew her as Tenacious Ruth.
A private service will be held later this summer at the family farm cemetery in Davis County, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at http://bit.ly/RuthHenderson



Posted by Darcy Wylde on April 13, 2021
My best memories of my Grandma Ruth include my dad taking my brother and me to the family farm where we would fish in the pond. And family Christmases where we would all play bingo together! Grandma always made yummy food and was a wonderful baker! She always made cloverleaf rolls and special desserts for holiday dinners. I also love to bake and have tried to make her rolls but they're never as good! I remember how much my Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Craig loved each other. It was a beautiful relationship. Now they are reunited and I know they've both waited for that for a very long time. RIP Grandma - we all love you and you will be missed.
Posted by Rick Dahl on April 10, 2021
Carol, I remember the first time I met your Mom. She tagged along with you as you made a marketing presentation to our group. We met in our upstairs factory conference room, while your Mom was asked to remain downstairs watching the commotion as forklifts buzz by from the relative safety of the employee lunch room.

As I recall, she was in the early stages of dementia even then, and you would regularly leave the meeting to pull her back in so she did was not gobbled up by welders or split apart by lasers. It was a demanding task, as she was curious and prone to wander.

I always thought you had a great Mom. But I also felt that she was very fortunate to have a wonderful, caring family to provide support in her later years. It really warms our hearts.

Rick & Pam Dahl
Posted by larry henderson on April 6, 2021
You only have one Mom and i had a great one for 97 + years.
Posted by Carol Henderson on April 5, 2021
She lived life with everything she had. She was the best mom and my best friend.

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Posted by Darcy Wylde on April 13, 2021
My best memories of my Grandma Ruth include my dad taking my brother and me to the family farm where we would fish in the pond. And family Christmases where we would all play bingo together! Grandma always made yummy food and was a wonderful baker! She always made cloverleaf rolls and special desserts for holiday dinners. I also love to bake and have tried to make her rolls but they're never as good! I remember how much my Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Craig loved each other. It was a beautiful relationship. Now they are reunited and I know they've both waited for that for a very long time. RIP Grandma - we all love you and you will be missed.
Posted by Rick Dahl on April 10, 2021
Carol, I remember the first time I met your Mom. She tagged along with you as you made a marketing presentation to our group. We met in our upstairs factory conference room, while your Mom was asked to remain downstairs watching the commotion as forklifts buzz by from the relative safety of the employee lunch room.

As I recall, she was in the early stages of dementia even then, and you would regularly leave the meeting to pull her back in so she did was not gobbled up by welders or split apart by lasers. It was a demanding task, as she was curious and prone to wander.

I always thought you had a great Mom. But I also felt that she was very fortunate to have a wonderful, caring family to provide support in her later years. It really warms our hearts.

Rick & Pam Dahl
Posted by larry henderson on April 6, 2021
You only have one Mom and i had a great one for 97 + years.
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