Ruth Louise Anderson Fagan

Published 1:26 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Ruth Louise Anderson Fagan was born at home on October 3, 1926, to Alfred William and Marie Mandalena Kindblade Anderson in Chillicothe, Iowa. She died on December 7, 2022, in Richmond, Louisiana.

Ruth attended grade school in Chillicothe and then boarded with four other young women in nearby Ottumwa, Iowa for the duration of her school education. When Ruth’s class of 1944 graduated, World War II was in full swing and gas rations did not permit her to live at home on her parent’s farm.

She worked for John Morrell and Company in their corporate offices until 1948 when she married John Houston Fagan, a U.S. Navy cadet who had stationed in Ottumwa for flight training. John cut in on Ruth’s dance partner and there was no looking back for either one of them. They were married for 55 years.

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Ruth and John lived in a number of different cities with lengthy stays in Ottumwa, Iowa; Portland, Oregon; and Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. After John’s passing, she moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi where she lived until the last few months of her life.

Ruth was a “cradle” Lutheran and lived her faith along with countless generations of Swedish ancestors. She was a fifth-generation descendant of Iowa Lutheran pioneers who settled the second Swedish community west of the Mississippi River. In 2005 she became a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church.

Ruth was instrumental in raising her four children and later spent countless hours with her five grandchildren. She drove carpools for sports activities, music lessons, cared for aging parent and volunteered often for the churches she attended.

Ruth loved to dance. Her children have fond memories of Ruth and John dancing in their living room to Guy Lombardo and Bennie Goodman. They shared a passion for golf and played in several groups when they lived in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas.

Ruth played bridge like a pro and participated in several bridge groups over the past 60 years. She loved to entertain and was an outstanding cook. Ruth loved animals and managed to inherit several strays who stayed a lifetime. Ruth valued a beautiful home and collected Bing and Grohndal porcelain as well as Rene Lalique glass statuary.

Ruth and John traveled extensively. As they grew older, they often met up with John’s World War II Naval flight buddies in cities across the United States for yearly gatherings. In a trip overseas, Ruth, her sister and brother-in-law were able to visit with extended Swedish family members.

Ruth is survived by her daughter, Shirley Roggen of Portland, Oregon and her son Dr. David Fagan (Lori) of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her grandchildren are Christian Roggen of Portland, Oregon; Emily (John) Neiger of Camas, Washington; John Fagan of Vicksburg, Mississippi; Hollie (Paul) Prudhomme of Los Angeles, California; and Alex Fagan of Charleston, South Carolina.

She was preceded in death by her daughter Janet Lynne Fagan in 1983 and her husband John Houston Fagan in 2003. Her daughter Mary Ellen Fagan died December 23, 2022.

Ruth was kind and loving and had a marvelous was of coping. She believed with her whole heart that we should not let the sun go down on our anger. She lived knowing she could forgive and be forgiven. We will miss her greatly.

The family would like to thank her many friends at Crawford Street United Methodist Church and Vicksburg for the friendship and support given to her during her time in Vicksburg.

A joint Memorial Service will be held for Ruth and her daughter, Mary Fagan on Saturday, January 21st at 11:00 AM at Crawford Street United Methodist Church. A Celebration of Life reception will be held following the service at the home of Dr & Mrs. David Fagan, 106 Lakewood Hills, Vicksburg, Mississippi.