Ruth Serena (Nelson) Knudsen

August 7, 1921 – April 12, 2019

Ruth Serena (Nelson) Knudsen, age 97, of Fremont died on April 12, 2019, at Nye Legacy in Fremont.

Ruth was born on Aug. 7, 1921, near Correctionville, Iowa, to Fred Nelson and Ida (Leuhr) Nelson. She graduated from Waterbury High School in Waterbury, Nebraska, where she was a cheerleader, and excelled in drawing and the arts. In later years, she took great delight in demonstrating the cheers for her granddaughters.

In August of 1944, Ruth married Ralph Knudsen in Rock Island, Illinois, where they spent two weeks as newlyweds before Ralph was sent to Europe to fight in World War II. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ruth promptly caught a train for California, where she became a real-life Rosie the Riveter, cutting blueprints and building struts for P-38 aircraft. She also trained as – in her words – a “beauty operator.” She loved Fay Wray, rock and gem hunting, jewelry making, and the Kardashians, the latter of which mystified and amused her family to no end. Ruth and Ralph settled in Dakota City, Nebraska, after the war, where they raised three sons. Ruth was many things during her life – a wife, mother, friend, neighbor, and veritable bundle of energy. But most importantly, Ruth was loved, and she loved back. Fiercely.

Ruth is survived by sons, Gordon and Dennis (Lorna) of Fremont; son, Roger (Jan) of Olathe, Kansas; grandchildren, Alison Knudsen (Karen Becker) of Lincoln, Emily Ridder (Matt) of Fremont, Kristin Maier and Lucas Maier of Lincoln; great-grandchildren, Makenzie and Colin Ridder, Greyson Bornemeier, and Ryker Maier.

The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Fremont, 401 E. Military Ave. Visitation will be an hour before the service at the church. A lunch/reception to follow the service. Burial will be at Memorial Park, Sioux City, Iowa, at 3 p.m. Memorials are suggested to Salem Lutheran Church.

Ludvigsen Mortuary in Fremont is in charge of arrangements.

Online guestbook at www.ludvigsenmortuary.com.

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