Ruth was born in N Tonawanda, NY on July 2, 1931. She attended St. Mark’s Lutheran School in N. Tonawanda for eight years. She often referred to those years as the Foundation of her Christian walk with God. After graduating from N. Tonawanda High School, she attended Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio with honors and obtained her R.N. degree. A few years later she graduated from Pacific Christian College in Fullerton, California with her B.S. degree.
Ruth met Donald Swanson (2/9/35 – 8/28/18) who was attending Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, MO. They were married on August 17, 1958. She had been planning to be a missionary nurse in New Guinea but she often said, “God had a different mission field for me.” She and Don were blessed with three beautiful children: son Jonathan, daughter Mary and son David. The family was active together in full time ministry in many parts of the USA and Hawaii. Ruth continued to have passion for the churches around the world and for about 10 years she visited with Christians in Africa, Samoa, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Guinea, Central America and Madagascar – especially after her children were grown. Ruth continued to share those mission experiences at many churches in the USA. In 1990 she was commissioned as an associate in ministry and she and her husband Don worked together as a team. Ruth loved life and shared that zeal openly. Many times she remarked, “I pray that someone might have been affected to grow as a Christian because of my life.”