17 November, 1921 – 28 April, 2021
On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, surrounded by her family, Ruth L Riley passed away at the age of 99. Ruth was born November 17, 1921 on a farm in Madison, Missouri to Thomas and Nannie Rebecca (née Bostwick) Lusk. She attended college at the University of Missouri where she studied home economics. Ruth had a vibrant and storied career, working for the USDA inspecting canneries before settling in Des Moines in 1955 to become a writer for Successful Farming Magazine at Meredith Publishing. She spent many much-cherished years as Home Services Director with Maytag where she traveled the country demonstrating optimal use and care for the modern washer and dryer. Ruth’s final professional venture was to open a kitchen design business - Ruth L Kitchens - where she designed and installed modern, elegant kitchens throughout Des Moines. She retired in 1996 and enjoyed years of snowbirding between Iowa and Arizona. Ruth was so much more than her career. She loved life. She was ambitious, vivacious, and brave. She was always up for an adventure, and boy, did she have adventures! She was the queen of her kitchen, and in her free time she loved to garden, bake, and arrange flowers. Her style and grace were evident in everything she touched. Those she left behind will remember her loving and generous spirit most of all.
Ruth is survived by her daughter-in-law, Linda Bos; her three grandchildren, Tom (Brooke) Bos, Cassidy Bos, and Jon Bos (Angela Gingery); step-children Michael Bos, Maryann Green, Kathleen Riley, Pam Riley, Molly (Mitchell) Anderson, Margaret Riley, Mark (Charlotte) Riley, and Meaghan Riley; nieces and nephews Nancy Seyfert, Alice Wilkinson, Martha McCormick, Leo Tushaus, and David Tushaus; three great grandchildren Destiny, Eva, and Ruby Bos; as well as grandnieces and nephews, step-grandchildren, and countless others unnamed but surely not forgotten.
She was preceded in death by her beloved son, Thomas Bos; two husbands, Larry Leaverton and Richard Riley; her parents; four sisters, Laura Delaney, Alice Lusk, Julia Tushaus, and Barbara Savalick; granddaughter Torey Bos; and stepsons Jon Bos and Richard Riley II.
A special thanks to Kathleen “Kate” Riley for the care and friendship shared with Ruth during her last years. Thanks also to the Home Care and Healthcare Center staff at Scottish Rite Park for their incredible care of Ruth, and for their kind support as her family said goodbye.
Thursday, 6 May , 2021
Friday, 7 May , 2021
5 June 2021
Ruth was my friend from Questers. When she told me she was dropping out as she couldn't hear or enjoy the programs. I shed a tear, but understood. Don't know how I missed this (probably Covid-19) but I wanted to write a note so her family will know that I did not know to send a card or flower. But want to express the loss that I feel. She was a beautiful friend. Feeling the loss. Ivy
6 May 2021
Ruth was such a great mother to her son, Tom!!! Once when Tom, I believe, had his "Learners Permit" then to drive, he drove her and myself in her new red Ford Mustang (I believe, the first year they came out) with a white rag top, down to "the Southeast Bottoms" of Des Moines. There, they purchased an old rusty Model A Ford in a junk yard that he had found. You have to picture this, Ruth wearing a head scarf, driving this new red Ford Mustang with the top down, me, this squeaky scrawny kid in the back seat, towing with a rope, this old Model A rust bucket, with Tom driving. From a junk yard in the SE Bottoms through downtown, where I might add, the Shriner's Circus parade was happening. Towing it all the way out to the West Side to 51st South of Grand Ave. Grand Ave was Hwy 90 in those day, the East Coast West Coast connection through Iowa and before I-80 was completed. Yah, and semi-truck traffic. Where she gave up her garage to let Tom and me disassemble that old car. I would speculate, that there are very few moms, who would do such a thing. She was a grand mother!!!
4 May 2021
I grew up next door to Ruth and I call her my 2nd mom. She was never to busy to lend a caring ear and would often take me with her to run errands. I loved our lunches together and she's responsible for my love of rarebit burgers, after introducing me to them at Younkers Tea Room. We still had a close relationship up to her dying day, exactly two weeks after my mom, Frances Clayton's, passing. They were best friends and Ruth always told me she didn't know what she would have done without Mom's friendship. I truly thought they would leave this world on the same day, hand in hand, like Thelma and Louise. I love you, Ruth! Till we meet again! 💞 Linda Clayton
4 May 2021
Ruth was a special grand lady. We enjoyed getting to know her from her Pommel Place family. Alway smiling and sharing stories from her life. She will be missed by her family, however, she is now reuniting with her loved ones that have left her to soon.
Lon and Connie Smallridge
4 May 2021
Ruth was a long time neighbor and friend. Barbara and I remember her fondly and offer our best wishes to her grandchildren and their families.
30 April 2021
Ruth and my father, Dick Riley, found love together in their final years. She was a loving partner and they shared much in their time together. She had a remarkable life that should be celebrated.