What a gal! What a dame! What a mom! Selfless to the end and a lady of full sovereignty, Ruth Eileen Pickard died on Monday, August 29, 2022.
A hardworking farm woman through and through, she made her parents proud: Henderson and Esther Marie Hardy of Wapello, where she grew up, before leaving for the big city and pursuing a college degree in business administration.
The best story perhaps, is how she met Edwin Clair Pickard, via a cotton print dress that she herself had made. He noticed her on the Fairfield square. She checked up on his family name before accepting a date. They just celebrated 50 years of marriage.
She was a lover of all living beings, maintaining for 30 years a herd of dairy goats, planting milkweed to bring in monarch butterflies, and consistently replenishing bird seed. An avid flower gardener, she held a special place in her heart for hollyhocks and would often hand out seeds to neighbors. Peonies were a first runner up.
Ruth Eileen was mom to many. 1000 at least. She was lunch lady for 700 kids over 18 years at Libertyville Elementary school. But before that, she founded a 4H club in Jefferson County, and continued to be a leader and mentor for 35 years.
She was loved by many and all, but most recently is survived by 4 kids: Heather Eileen (Batavia, IA), Heidi Racquel & Jesse (Libertyville, IA), Benjamin Clair (Bentonsport, IA), and Gretchen Sabrina & Rob (Glenwood, IA). Plus, Kimberly Criswell, honorary daughter.
She is also survived by 11 grandkids: Cameron and Hailey Burke |Sparrow, Olive and Indira Pickard | Cole Potter, Angelica, Deacon, Jonah and Isaiah Pracht.
Her brothers are, Marvin Hardy, of Wapello, IA, and Leroy Hardy (deceased), of Burlington, IA.
Memorial arrangements are as follows: Visitation from 5-7PM on Thursday, September 1st, Behner’s Funeral Home, Fairfield, IA. A celebration of life ceremony will be at Woolson Friends Church in Richland, IA on Friday, September 2nd, at 10 o’clock with Pastors John Wilbur and Danny Cary officiating. Inurnment will be in the family plot at Pleasant Plain Friends Cemetery following the service.
Please join us then and there for an exchange of stories and anecdotes and celebration of life of her:
“Here lies a most beautiful lady.
Light of step and heart was she.
I think she was the most beautiful lady.
That ever was in the West Country.”
Ruth Eileen (Hardy) Pickard
April 12th, 1946, to August 29th, 2022 (age 76)
“Love you Mom, for always and forever. You will be greatly missed by many people that knew you.” – Heather Eileen
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Jefferson County 4H or to the family. Cards and memorials can be sent to the family via Heidi Pickard at 108 Washington St., Libertyville, IA 52567.