Ruth Mary Victoria Jackson (Bengtson) was born on October 17, 1920 in St. Paul, MN. She died peacefully on Sunday, July 10, 2016. Her parents were Rev. Carl A. Bengtson and Esther (Stenborg) Bengtson. When she was 8 years old, the family moved to Seattle, WA where Ruth and her brothers Paul and Luther grew up. She graduated from Ballard High School and Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma. She decided to be a teacher. In 1944, when the family returned to the Midwest, she went back to school at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois adding a degree in Speech Therapy. She set up the first Speech Therapy program in the East Moline, IL school district. While living in Rock Island, she met Leland Jackson, a student at the Augustana Theological Seminary, and invited him over for some of her homemade rhubarb sauce. They were married on June 15, 1948.
Ruth grew up in service to the Augustana Lutheran Church and continued that service as the wife of a Lutheran Pastor in Portland, Oregon; Underwood, Washburn and Coleharbor, North Dakota; Sault Ste Marie, MI; First Lutheran Church in Keokuk, IA; and Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Moline, IL. In 1966 Ruth returned to her teaching work and taught 4th grade for over 20 years at Hillcrest Elementary School in East Moline, IL and retired in 1985.
Ruth and Lee fully enjoyed retirement, traveling around the country with their camper and visiting family and friends known through the rich network of the church. They also enjoyed international travel to Africa, Russia, and Sweden, where they resided for a month when Lee served as an interim minister at the St Klara church in Stockholm. They moved to St Peter, MN in 1991. Ruth was an enthusiastic and welcoming hostess - interested in others and in making connections. Her camera was always within reach to catch the moment. Their condo at St Peter ReaLife was often a stopover for traveling wayfarers. Lee died in 2005, and when Ruth needed more assistance, she moved to the Twin Cities to be nearer to family. Ruth's family is so appreciative and grateful for the love and care she was given by the staff at St Anthony Park Home in St Paul and to have been a part of the community there.
Ruth is survived by her four children Paul, Mark (Patty Anderson), Leanne, and Marilyn (Tom Cummins); 4 grandsons Bipin, Daniel, Erik, and Nick; also, her brother Paul (Eileen) Bengtson, and brother-in-law Carmon (Audrey) Jackson and sisters-in-law Deloris (Cal) Bertram and Renee Jackson. She is preceded in death by her husband Lee Jackson, and brother Luther Bengtson and parents.
Funeral is 11:00 am Friday, July 15, 2016 at First Lutheran Church, St. Peter with visitation at 10:00 am. Burial is at Resurrection Cemetery, St. Peter. Memorials are preferred.