Ruth Isabelle Jensen Demsher, our beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, returned to her Heavenly Father on Sunday, March 5, 2023 at age 106. Ruth was born December 31, 1916 on a homestead near Dooley, Montana to Danish immigrant father Niels Peter Jensen and his Danish wife Mary Viola Christensen. She was joined by three siblings, Arla, Norma and much later, Wayne. They all grew up together on this homestead, playing, learning to do farmwork, and walking the half mile to their one-room school.
She graduated from Commertown High School in 1936. She wanted to be a nurse but money was scarce so she went to beauty school. With the war going on, she and a girlfriend moved to Portland, Oregon to get better paying jobs working in defense. They arrived there on Dec 7, 1941. Ruth got jobs soldering large plugs, welding the hulls of Liberty Cargo ships, and riveting ailerons for airplane wings. Yes, she was our family's real, live Rosie the Riviter.
She met Joe Demsher Jr at an Odd Fellows Hall where young people went to dance and socialize. He had enlisted in the Army and was leaving in 2 weeks. They corresponded for the four years he was gone and married on January 12, 1946 when he returned home.
Joe built a home outside of Portland and together Joe and Ruth raised 6 children. Sadly, their third child, Jon Calvin Demsher, died as a toddler. They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1954 and became an active, faithful family. Later that same year, they moved to a 55 acre farm in Canby, Oregon.
In 1965 Joe died in a car crash on the way to work. Ruth became a widow at age 48. She stayed on the farm until her children had graduated from high school and then moved to Utah where two married daughters lived and where she could take advantage of the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake.
Ruth loved sewing, gardening, reading, politics, and doing family history. She researched and found many, many Danish ancestors. She served a one year full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Roanoke, Virginia in 1979. She served in the Jordan River Temple as an ordinance worker. She loved her family and looked forward to all family activities—especially family reunions.
Ruth was preceded in death by her mother and father, sisters Arla and Norma and brother Wayne, and her husband Joe and son Jon.
She is survived by her children Gloria (Vernon) Gish, Mary (John) Hadlock, Joyce (Richard) McCune, Daniel Demsher, Rebecca (Thomas) McCune; 12 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren; and many other family members and friends whom she loved.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 18, 2023, 2:00 pm at the Midvale 11th Ward, located at 97 West 7500 South, Midvale, Utah. The viewing will be held at 12:30 pm at the same location.
Interment will be held Thursday, March 23, 2023, at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Go to the Cemetery office 1:00 to 1:15 for directions. Witness Burial will be at 1:30; dedication of the grave at 4:00 pm.
The family would like to thank the Suncrest Care Center for their kind and loving care of Ruth these past two months, and thank you to special hospice caregivers Nurse Val, Chaplain Chris and CNAs Jenna, Lindsay and Val.
The funeral service will be live-streamed at the following link: