Ruth McArthur Johnson, our beloved wife, mother, and grandma, passed away peacefully at the age of 89, on December 9, 2023. She was a beautiful, classy, and graceful lady. Always so well-dressed and put together, we all adore her and will miss her sweet smiles and warm greetings! She made feeding a huge family look easy, and always made us feel loved! We are grateful she is free from pain and suffering.
Ruth was born on October 23, 1934. She is the daughter of Stephen Lester and Lulu Corbridge McArthur, the third of five children. She was born in Logan, Utah. When she was about 10 the family moved to Amalga. She graduated from North Cache High School in 1952. Ruth worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Haskell in Logan. She met her sweetheart Charles Edward Johnson on a blind date. They were sealed in the Logan LDS Temple on February 4, 1955, by President A. George Raymond.
At the time of their marriage Ed was in the Air Force, and they made their first home in Clearfield, Utah. Later they were stationed in Zaragoza, Spain, Austin, Texas, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Tacoma, Washington. When Ed retired from the Air Force the family lived in Smithfield, Utah, then relocated to Nibley, Utah, where they raised their family for many years. In 1991 they moved to Fruit Heights, Utah. Together they raised six children.
Ruth had a way of making her children and grandchildren feel loved and cherished. Snuggling with them and reading to them was a favorite memory of several of her grandchildren and children. She would sing “Feed the Birds” at bedtime. Her favorite song to sing towards the end of her life was “I love you a bushel and a peck AND a hug around the neck!” Her great-granddaughter Emilia can sing all the words because she heard them so much.
The titles of “My oldest grandson, my oldest granddaughter” went to David and Shelly, but most of the time the rest of the grandchildren were told how “handsome or beautiful” they were. She loved to play games with them. Chinese checkers, Dirty and Rummy were some of her favorites. When they were ready to go, she always offered them candy from her “stash.”
Ruth would hold the best Christmas Eve parties and always do the Christmas Gift Game. While a version of “The Night before Christmas” was read, presents were passed around and around to the left and to the right and sometimes you even got a $20 bill!
Ed and Ruth were quite a team. They prepared many dinners for ward parties and funerals. Ed would provide and cook the meat, and Ruth would make the potatoes and gravy, and all the fixings.
Ruth was Ed’s biggest fan. During the last years of her life she told everyone she met that Ed had been a bishop, a mayor, a Texas Ranger and the best basketball player in the world! Two of those things are facts, we’ll let you decide which ones.
Ruth supported Ed in all his adventures. Every fall the “boys” in the family would gather up their gear, food, trucks, and guns. Several times these trips landed on her birthday!
All the grandchildren remembered how they loved finding donuts, Pop tarts, wheat thins, cheesy spread, pretzels, lucky charms and Oreos their grandmother kept in the cupboard. She made sure the back fridge was stocked with everyone's favorite drinks.
The grandchildren always loved spending time with her. The fond memories of sleepovers, and special gifts, and dancing with them when they came to her house were recounted in the book Jana made for her on her 80th birthday.
Ruth had a green thumb, she could outwork any of her children in the yard and garden. Her children would always say the garden was “way too big.” Even when she used to grow things in the grow boxes, she loved to be outside longer than anyone else. We all remember her seven foot roses in the front flower beds she was so proud of. Each year we picked the concord grapes that grew on Ruth’s fence. For many years she steamed the grapes and made lovely grape juice!
Ruth loved to arrange flowers and used her skills when Ed and his brother Richard bought a reception center, Cedar Breaks, in Wellsville. She helped run the place when it was a restaurant and did all the wedding reception arrangements including the bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres.
During their early marriage they traveled throughout Europe. Later, Ed and Ruth enjoyed traveling on the many trips he won during the time he worked as a food broker. They traveled to Hong Kong, Jamaica, St. Thomas, and Mexico. Ruth was a lifelong lover of reading books, attending theater productions, and enjoying the arts.
Ruth was an example to her family of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. She had a strong testimony of the Savior, prayer, and keeping the commandments. She would try to hold family home evenings when Ed was away. She supported him when he was a bishop and kept things running when he commuted for many years from Nibley to Hill Air Force Base every day for work. Ruth and Ed loved their time working in the Bountiful Utah Temple as shift coordinators. They always said they worked with the
most wonderful people. They called that their mission as they worked in the temple for eleven years.
Ruth is preceded in death by her grandson, Christopher Gibbs. She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Charles Edward Johnson; children Karen (Paul Christensen), Burley, Idaho; Susan (Alex Baugh), Highland, Utah; Kelly Stephen (Darcie Durrant), Salt Lake City, Utah; Kenneth Charles (Marilyn Davis), Boise, Idaho; Angela Gibbs, Kaysville, Utah; and Jana (Clark Jones), Fruit Heights, Utah. They have 28 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. She is also
survived by a sister, Laura McArthur Balls, Heber, Utah.
Funeral services will be held Monday, December 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at Lindquist Mortuary, 1867 North Fairfield Road, Layton, Utah. Friends and family may call from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary prior to the services.
Our family appreciates and thanks the hospice staff who helped our mother the last months and days of her life. Special thanks go to Mary Springer who did our mother’s hair every Tuesday until the week she died. She took such good care of her! Our family also wants to express thanks and appreciation to Jana and Clark Jones and Angela Gibbs for caring for our parents these past five years! Their patience and devotion were such a blessing to Ruth and Ed. We are eternally grateful as a family!
Services will be live streamed by going to www.lindquistmortuary.com and scrolling to the bottom of
Ruth’s obituary page.