Ruth Peel Nicholas, age 93, passed from this life on September 11, 2017, in Spring Texas. Ruth was born in Mt. Pleasant, Utah on July 5, 1924, the 8th of 11 children of Orange Fredrick and Karen Johanna Olsen Peel. Ruth was raised and educated in Mt Pleasant where she graduated as valedictorian of her Sanpete High School class. She attended LDS Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1946. Following the end of WW II, she worked in the Panama Canal Zone as a nurse for a year.
Ruth is survived by her 4 children, Karl (Karen), Jolene (Wallace), Lynette (Mark) and Ken (Lisa), 18 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Mark A. Nicholas, all 10 of her siblings, and a granddaughter Maci.
A devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she was called to serve a mission to the London England Mission in 1949. While awaiting the date to report to her mission she worked with her sister Glenna Peel Lusk in the Malad, Idaho hospital where she met Mark Nicholas, a local farm boy. They wrote during the following 18 months and upon her return to Utah continued their courtship and they were married on Feb 21, 1951 in Manti, Utah. Together they had 4 children Karl, Jolene, Lynette and Ken.
They lived in Idaho, several towns in Eastern Montana and North Dakota over the next few years. They settled in Minot, North Dakota for the next 40 years of their life where they purchased a home and raised their children. Their life together was full. While the children were in school, Ruth worked at Trinity Medical Center in various positions of increasing responsibility, and Mark worked for Portal Pipeline, eventually becoming the General Manager.
Ruth served in many church callings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including Relief Society President, District Relief Society President, teacher in Primary, Sunday School and Relief Society. She served a mission to Manaus, Brazil with Mark in 1993. She especially loved serving as an ordinance worker in the Bismark, North Dakota temple for 3 years.
Ruth was a dedicated homemaker who loved to garden. The garden covered most of the backyard and each year the entire family participated in caring for and preserving the bounty produced. She was a wonderful baker and was always searching for the perfect loaf of whole wheat bread, and taught her sons and daughters equally the skills they would need to carry on that tradition. She was an accomplished seamstress, making clothing including suits for Mark, dresses for her daughters and as the children grew her interests expanded to quilting. She made quilts for each grandchild’s birth and marriage, completing the last quilt just prior to her 90th birthday.
Ruth enjoyed traveling with Mark. After their children had grown they spent 5 years in the Yemen Arab Republic where Mark supervised a project. There they met with Ambassadors, Sheiks and other dignitaries. She traveled with friends she made in Yemen to many locations in Europe and surrounding countries. During a visit from Ken to Yemen they stopped for a visit to Korea where he served his mission and following the completion of their work in Yemen she and Mark traveled to Africa on a safari, New Zealand, and Singapore. She frequently said that a farm girl from Sanpete County has come a long way.
Following Mark’s stroke in 2005 they decided to move closer to family and in 2006 Mark and Ruth moved to Spring, Texas. Ruth devoted many years tenderly caring for Mark in their home in as his health declined. She oversaw all of his care until he could no longer walk, then continued to see him every day in the nursing home, making sure to be there for his meals, and spending most of her time with him.
We, her children, and many others have been blessed by her gentle humor, her kind compassion, and her hard work. Ruth was a woman of diligent faith, expressed in her actions. She loved others, cared sincerely about others, and expressed that love in kind service, and quiet action.
While we watched with sadness the decline in her health the past few years, and would not have wished to have her suffering extended by a single moment, we will all miss her greatly and trust in the sure promise of a great resurrection. We know she was welcomed home by Mark, who was impatiently waiting for her to join him, and reunited with family who greeted her with open arms and joyful hearts .
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 23 at 11 a.m. in the Horsley Funeral Home. Friends may visit with the family for one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Malad City Cemetery.