The Nebraska Signal
19 January 2000
Ruth Kucera Webster was born on the Kucera family farm near Exeter on Aug.29, 1916. She passed away at her home in Las Vegas, Nev., on Dec. 1, 1999 at the age of 83. She was the youngest of three children, Edna and Charlie being her other siblings.
At age 7 her young world was shattered by the early death of her beloved mother, which ultimately started her on her journey of courage, strength and determination and a lust for life and happiness. Being lithe and tomboyish her small stature neve4 stopped her from attempting and attaining anything that caught her attention.
She adored her brother Charlie; hr was her hero as he was both brother and protector, taking up the roll of their fallen mother. She loved to laugh, she loved the finer things of life and was a beautiful girl with style and class. She also loved poetry and nature. One of her many wonderful memories she spoke of was the silence and serenity of the creek in winter, especially when it was laden with snow.
She was a deep thinker and rich with wisdom and I (sic) always felt there was a depth about her that never surfaced.
She stayed with her father and brother, Charlie on the farm helping; with household chores after her older sister married and moved to California.
Ruth graduated from the Exeter Public Schools in 1953 with above average grades and one of the highlights she spoke of often was the participation in the Exeter Public School Singing Sextet that went to State and won. Upon graduation she moved to California and worked as bookkeeper and secretary to a prominent truck line and moving business. When World War II broke out, she went to work in an airplane part factory as a riveter and always placed as "Top Riveter" of the day at production output. She said "I fought that war with every rivet I drove."
She took a leave of absence when her nieces were born.
In the late 1940's she met and married Fredrick Wm. "Stew" Stewart, Marine with many medals and honors. They lived in California where "Stew" was tragically killed in a car accident in 1952. I believe he truly was the love of her life to her dying, day. Grief stricken and disoriented she returned to her "Nebraska" for solace.
Eventually she returned to the "City of Angels" and went to work for Tele Automatic Communications and in time made acquaintance with her Precision Inspector boss, Russ Webster They were married in the early 1960 and that union too ended in tragedy Russ dying of cancer, just a few year later. Again she returned to her home land for rest and recuperation before venturing forth again, making her home in Bellflower, Calif. working as a telephone operator for a company that worked to benefit orphaned children. She and her supervisor Bonnie Lee, who it turned out was also from Nebraska, become lifelong on friends.
She accompanied her niece, Janice to Memphis, Los Angeles and La Vegas. Being very talented herself as a singer and writer it was of interest to her as well as guarding her "Little One", as she called Janice.
At this stage of her life a friend of the family, Scott Kellogg, contacted Ruth and convinced her to move with him to Las Vegas, Nev. to care him and to keep house for him where they spent the remainder of their retirement years….. enjoying the cheerfulness and activity of that city. Scott passed away in 1985, again leaving Ruth alone. Being a small but might warrior she managed taking care of business with her typical deliberate cool headedness until, what I consider to be, her untimely death due to heart-attack.
Ruth was preceded in death by he mother Eva in 1923; her father, Anton in 1970; her first husband, Fredrick Wm. "Stew" Stewart in 1952; he second husband, Russ Webster in 1964; niece, Fran Kucera Mendrych in 1984; long time friend/companion, Scott Kellogg in 1985; brother Charlie in 1995; sister-in-law, Vi Kucera in 1998; sister, Edna Kucera Rank in 1998 and brother-in-law Frederick "Fritz" Rank in 1991.
Ruth is survived by nieces, Janice Kucera of Exeter and Darlene Rank Willis of California; nephew Rex Rank of Colorado and several great nieces and great nephews and cousins.
Graveside services were conducted at the Exeter Cemetery in the family lot in Exeter on Monday, Dec. 20 1999, at 10:30a.m. with the Rev. Bob Brauninger officiating.
Farmer and Son Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
"Amazing Grace" was sung by Janice Kucera.