Ruth was born in Stephen, Minn. and was one of eight children born to Christian and Mary (LaMetterey) Johnson.
In 1926, her father built one of the first motor homes and Ruth, her parents and a younger sister and brother traveled in it for a year. They went south from Minnesota, across the Pacific coast, up to Washington, and across the northern United States and back to Minnesota. Her parents let the children with relatives in Waverly, Minn. and traveled another year. Then they bought land in Missouri between Joplin and Carthage on Highways 66 and 71. They started a novelty factory and store. Ruth went through high school there and then spent a year at home helping with the novelties and store.
During this time, Ruth met Ivan Hicks, who was born in Carthage and they were married in 1933 in Webb City, Mo. They moved to Omaha, Neb. where Ivan was employed. Ruth and Ivan were the parents of nine children. In 1949 they bought a acreage near Bellevue, Neb.
Ivan was a cattle buyer for Wilson Company and was transferred to West Point, Neb. and then to Cherokee. When he retired because of illness, they moved to Walnut, Iowa and eventually moved back to their home in Bellevue. Ivan died in 1974. Ruth moved to Avoca in 1984. About this time, having inherited a love of traveling from her father, Ruth bought a camper van and traveled extensively.
Ruth was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. Besides her church and her large family and their many activities, she was interested in camping, fishing, gardening, reading, sewing, quilting, bird watching and playing cards.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Ivan, a daughter, Emily and her husband William Bever, three grandchildren, one great-grandchild, four sisters and two brothers.
Ruth is survived by eight children: Jay (Mary Alice) Hicks of Nehawka, Neb., Geraldine "Jerry" Russmann of Minden, Joan (Terry) Holmes of Jefferson, Maine, Alan (Diane) Hicks of Sanborn, Rosalie (Dennis) DeYoung of Quimby, Mary (Joseph) McLaughlin of Everly, Paul Hicks of Spirit Lake, and Andrew (Teresa) Hicks of Bellevue, Neb.; 34 grandchildren; 55 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and her brother Stephen Johnson of Apache Junction, Ariz.