Mrs. Ruth (Miles) Nelson, Sisseton, South Dakota, has been active in those things which held significance for her; Extension homemakers, church, CowBelles and the Hills and Valley Riding Club, always trying to quench her thirst for opportunities to learn.
Active on the local, district, state, and national levels of the South Dakota Extension Homemakers Association, Ruth developed leadership qualities that were adapted to her church activities and other interests.
In 1941, she organized the Friendly Neighbors Extension Club of which she is the sole remaining charter member; she has held all offices. On the county level, she was chairman, vice chairman, secretary, and safety project leader.
From the county level she moved upward to become state treasurer of Extension homemakers in 1967-70, then served as district secretary/treasurer and later as state safety chairman in 1975 when South Dakota won the National Highway Safety award for its Alcohol Safety Action Program. From that she branched out to become vice chairman of the South Dakota Women’s Highway Safety Leaders and worked with the cancer van project in 1976-77.
In 1975-77 Ruth was South Dakota Extension Homemakers Council president. She represented the state at the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) international meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1977, and attended another meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1983, the year of her EF&H honor.
A member of the Grace Lutheran Church, she is a past president of the GLCW, presently is the second vice president, and a member of Ruth Circle and the church council.
Ruth organized and is a charter member of the Lariat CowBelles of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association; she has served on committees for the American Cancer Society and Red Cross.
Within the community, she has taught ceramics to 4-H’ers and homemakers and was recreation director for Sisseton’s summer recreation program where she also taught craft classes. She has judged ceramics extensively at 4-H Achievement Days along with clerking for the 4-H livestock sales.
Ruth has been bookkeeper at the Sisseton Livestock Auction through three generations of Hellwigs, the owners.
Despite her occupation with volunteerism and bookkeeping, she enjoys oil painting, gardening, crocheting afghans for her seven grandchildren, and ceramics.
She has three children: Connie of Redondo Beach, California; Carol Jean, Sisseton, South Dakota; and Truman, Sisseton, South Dakota.