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Ruth (Benson) Drummond
1931 ~ 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
8 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Ruth's family - View on Tribute Wall
If you talked to Ruth in the last six months, you know how much she was looking forward to her 70th MSC (MSU) class reunion in Bozeman last weekend. Unfortunately, God had other plans and took her home. She died May 11, 2023, surrounded by family.
Ruth was born in Missoula in 1931 to Swedish immigrants, Otto and Olivia Benson. She had four older brothers and one sister. Raised on a dairy farm, she learned to milk cows, bottle milk and helped with daily deliveries. She was involved in 4-H, winning trips to Bozeman, Alberta, Chicago, and Washington D.C. She was a delegate to Montana’s first Girls’ State. After graduating from Missoula County High School in 1949, she attended Montana State College, making lifelong friends and earning a degree in Home Economics. She was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority, Spurs, Mortar Board and secretary for several college organizations. It was there that she met her husband of 65 years … but before settling down to family life, she put things on hold and spent five months in Sweden as an International Farm Youth Exchange delegate, where she received a letter each day from Tom.
Ruth married Tom Drummond on July 24, 1954. She taught high school home economics in Joliet for a year before they started their family of five daughters, whom she loved unconditionally. Family came first, and she gave time to all the organizations her children were involved in, especially 4-H and Rainbow Girls. After all were in school, she used her degree in a variety of ways. She ran a preschool for seven years and worked as a microwave demonstrator, giving both in-home and in-store demonstrations. This led to years working at Odegaards and then Ernst, retiring in 1991. That summer, she and Tom hiked over the Beartooth Mountains on a seven-day camping trip. In retirement, they traveled extensively through North America and Europe, often with family and friends.
Ruth and Tom constructed an elaborate Christmas Village for many years that they loved to share with family, friends and the community, once as part of the Billings Symphony’s Tour of Homes. Always a Swede at heart, Ruth wove her heritage into numerous presentations she gave to visitors of their village. If you were privileged to see it, you also had an opportunity to taste her famous Swedish ginger cookies.
In 2012, Ruth and Tom moved into West Park Village, where they developed many new friendships. As always, Ruth immersed herself in the opportunities available, attending most programs and exercise classes. She saw to it that new residents were welcomed to the community. They knew they had a gem and called on her to be part of committees and take minutes for community meetings.
Ruth was a member of Eastern Star, P.E.O., Home Ec Club, and her church circle. She was a 4-H leader for over 15 years and volunteered in local classrooms, the Moss Mansion, Global Village, and the memory unit at West Park Village.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom; parents; brothers Martin, Elmer, John and Otto Benson; sister Esther Heyer; half-siblings Karl Benson and Hilda Forsythe.
Ruth is survived by her five daughters, Carol Annin (Kim) of Billings, Donna Phillips of Tempe, Arizona, Sharon Lewis (John) of Chandler, Arizona, Judy Bramlette (Jim) of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Jan Weikert (Tim) of Belgrade; grandchildren, Colton, Jacob (Emilia) and Madison Weikert, Kyle and Cody Bramlette, and Hannah, Bridger and Alyssa Lewis. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Ruth will be remembered for her integrity, compassion and optimism. She will be missed by many. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 31, at First Presbyterian Church, 2420 13th St. West in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church in Billings, the Montana State 4-H Foundation or a charity of your choice.