Ruth Ann (Bern) Gooden, nee Weiss, 92, formerly of rural Dike, IA, passed away on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at the Western Home Deery Suites in Cedar Falls, IA.
A family graveside service will be held Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the Reinbeck City Cemetery at 12:00 noon. Arrangements are by Abels Funeral Home.
Ruth Ann Weiss was born on a farm outside of Reinbeck, IA, on March 7, 1929, to Raymond F. and Lucile Weiss, nee Wilhelm. Ruth Ann was educated in the Reinbeck Schools. Ruth Ann married Wilmer R. Bern on June 15, 1948. He died January 11, 1979. Ruth Ann married Samuel K. Gooden on November 25, 1983. He died December 22, 2008.
Following graduation from Reinbeck High School, she taught school for two years in a one-room school in rural Tama County. Ruth Ann also worked at Dietrick Turkey Farms and as a cook for the Dike Schools. In 1972, she started working at the Corn Beef Feed Lots, retiring in 1991. During all of this time, Ruth Ann was also a homemaker, raised five children, helped Wilmer with their dairy farm, grew an amazing garden (preserving everything!), sewed for her family, crocheted, cross-stitched, did needlepoint, arranged fresh flowers like a pro, and—her favorite—learned to weave on looms of all sizes.
History was one of her passions and she loved antiques and restoring them. For many years, she and Sam helped with the Annual Pioneer Craft Fair, Morrison, IA, demonstrating many crafts such as churning butter, cooking stew over an open fire, and making rugs on the loom. Ruth Ann was an avid reader. If there was something new or she didn’t understand she read about it. She also loved music and was a very good pianist. Ruth Ann was a member of PEO, Northeast Iowa Spinners and Weavers Guild, the Dike Yesterday Antique Club, the Audubon Society (which included a life-long list of identified birds and their songs), and Dike United Methodist Church. She was involved in 4-H supporting her sons with their many fair projects and as a leader for the girls’ club, including the years that Kathryn was involved.
Ruth Ann nursed her husband, Wilmer, through kidney disease and failing health until his death in 1979. After she married Sam, they traveled the country together, camping and canoeing from the Snake River to the Boundary Waters to the Okefenokee Swamp. (She was crazy! Those alligators were HUGE!) Ruth Ann and Sam eventually moved from the farm to a condo at Windridge, Western Home Communities, Cedar Falls, IA. She continued to enjoy driving to visit family and going to church, the bus trips offered by the Western Home, attending the plays at the Cedar Falls Community Theatre and the University of Northern Iowa Theatre, and cheering on the UNI Panthers until declining health forced her to give up going out.
Ruth Ann is survived by sons: David (Kaylene) Bern, Kansas City, MO; Michael Bern, Dike, IA; Dan (Tammy) Bern, Cedar Falls, IA; and daughter Kathryn (Judith) Bern, Seattle, WA.
Grandchildren Lori (Raul) Ruiz, Hudson, IA; Michelle Nelson, Mooresville, NC; Deborah Nelson, Waterloo, IA; Bobbi (Aaron) Shinn, Oskaloosa, IA; Miles (Lissa) Bern, Cedar Rapids, IA; Nick Bern, Des Moines, IA; Taylor (fiancé Nicole Ely) Bern, Prague, Czech Republic; Jamie Dorothy, Kansas City, MO; Jess (Leslie) Michaelsen, Kansas City, MO; and 14 great-grandchildren. Her brother, Paul (Kay) Weiss, Reinbeck, IA; nieces Sue (Jerry) Green, Cedar Falls, IA; and Julie (Scott) Moeller, Cape Coral, FL, and many cousins and dear friends.
Ruth Ann is preceded in death by her parents; husbands; son, Ken; and great-grandson, Damon Nelson.
The family requests no flowers. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Ruth Ann’s family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to the entire staff of the Western Home Communities and of UnityPoint Hospice.
Ruth Ann was a very loving, caring, and hard-working woman. She took joy in the little things, in nature’s beauty, watching the birds and listening to their songs, and life in general. We learned so much from her and will miss her smile.