Jane Ruth Rykerd
December 30, 1922 – September 7, 2013
BIOGRAPHY OF JANE RUTH RYKERD, December 30, 1922 - September 7, 2013, passed away due to a Heart attack.
I was born December 30, 1922 in Minneapolis, MN to my parents Gus Brandenborg and Jeanette Gina Flygen. I was named Jane Marion Brandenborg. My life was very content and happy until August, 1930 when my mother passed away from appendicitis. My father had an insurance agency. He had an office in our big house and my mother took care of the details of his business. Well, when she died he was devastated.
I had two sisters, Charlotte, who was fifteen years old at the time. Charlotte tried to take care of what my mother did, but to no avail. She has now passed away (1995). My other sister, June, is four years younger than I, (passed in 2010). She was 5 years old when my mother died (when she was born, I begged my mother to name my new sister June. She thought it would be too confusing Jane and June, but I told her I would know which one she wanted when she called). June was taken in by relatives, an uncle and aunt who had no children.
My older sister, Charlotte, married her fiance, and I lived with them after my father married a woman who took away everything we had and left him. I don't know exactly how it happened. June and I did live with them for awhile but I can recall bitter arguments and at the end, my father sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Van Hook (they would visit our house often when my mother was living). I liked Mrs. Van Hook because she would bring dishes, pots and pans for my "play house" that my father built for Charlotte, (Charlotte didn't like her play house, but my dolls and I did!).
Life seemed good at my sister's upper duplex until she had a baby. There wasn't enough money to buy food for me, so my sister found a former neighbor who needed help in their house. I was too young really; but she meant well. She also enrolled me in a trade school, but I was too young for that, too. I was sent to another home where I mostly played with the children and did dishes. I was happy there, but they moved to New Jersey. So the fourth home I was welcomed as a member of the family, and I remained there until I was married.
Their names were Dorothy & Henry Kane. When I first came aboard, they had one son, Morton, two and one-half years old. We became pals immediately - and we still are. He's a retired doctor now. There was also a daughter born, Raleigh is her name. I took care of her when she was 5 days old. She thinks of me as her sister and we keep in touch. While I was living at the Kanes I studied Judaism and was 16 years old when I became a Jewess and acquired another name: Ruth. I graduated from North High School in 1940. I was married for the first time on March 2, 1946, so I acquired another name: Goldstein.
My first husband's name was Alvin Goldstein. He had a very short life - 1921-1969. He is the reason I am in Calif. We had a good life in Minneapolis. When we were married, my mother-in law, Molly, gave us her produce business that she and her late husband, Joe, had for many years. We had 3 children and were active in the community.
Right after my last child was born, we were still living in Minneapolis, running Molly's Produce when Alvin became quite ill in the fall of 1960, which left him with a damaged heart and an artificial heart valve, and the doctors said if I wanted him to live I would get him to California. There was nothing to think about . Just to go, with a station wagon full of kids (Patty was still a new born), and belongings, a sick husband and my mother-in-law, I drove to San Diego.
My daughter, Darlene, married in 1970 to a sailor stationed in San Diego, whose home was in Michigan. They have 3 sons, who are grown, have graduated college, working in their chosen fields, each buying their own houses, have gotten married, and making babies. I now have seven wonderful grandchildren in Michigan!
My second child, a Son, Jerry, is married and has 2 children, a boy, Neil & girl, Julie Anne. He is a wonderful son.
My third child is a daughter, Patricia Ann, she met her soulmate, Larry Hirst, (who received a liver transplant in 2005) and they live in the same mobile home park, Lynnwood, as I do.
Alvin, (my first husband) died in 1969 after an operation to remove colon cancer and repair a double hernia, that the doctor told me went well, but the patient died. For one year I was busier than a "one armed paper hanger", working for the Navy on Coronado, seeing to it that my three children were doing the right thing - Darlene 20, Jerry 18, and Patty 8, plus the house, shopping, etc.
In 1970 Darlene married Bob Wilkinson. He was a cook and served in Vietnam in the Navy and was being discharged soon after they wed. He tired to find work here in San Diego, but was anxious to get back to Michigan to a "meat cutter's" job waiting for him. No one knew that so many super markets would open and the shop that promised him the job closed. However, he found a very good job with the city schools. At first he was a bus-driver. But now after many years, he is in charge of the buses, drivers and has a good medical coverage for the whole family. His future is about as secure as could be. Darlene is a good daughter. She writes every week, and is very concerned about her Mother. So are my son, Jerry, and youngest daughter, Patty.
After Darlene left home with her husband to go to Michigan, I still had my son and daughter Patty at home. I started going to single dances at the El Cortez and joined Parents without Partners, and the Widows and Widowers. I enjoyed the dances the most! I married Arthur Rykerd in 1974. I met him at a Sunday lawn party at a widows' home in Escondido. He was my "King Arthur". Just a very fine man that just wanted my company, to go out to dinner and dance. He promised me twenty years of companionship and he kept his promise. We travelled all over the United States, including Alaska via the Alcan Highway in a motor home. As a result I joined the Alaska Yukon Club and would serve as its President, Treasurer and newsletter editor). We also included Hawaii as Art wanted to visit all 50 states. He passed away in 1994.
Then, I was alone again. I got busy as can be going to dances at St. Paul's Villa, (used to be the Balboan) where Arthur and I had gone for many years, two days a week. At first the dances were at night time, but when the dancers didn't choose to drive at night, Elmer, our “music” man, changed it to days. The last year or so Arthur wasn't able to dance but he knew I loved it, so I would take him in a wheel chair and he would visit with the other dancers, drink coffee and cookies and I would dance. When Bill Levy (one my dance partners at the Villa), heard Arthur had died, he sent me a card expressing his sorrow and asking me if I would have dinner with him at the Villa on dance night. I did, and we had many lunches and dinners before I decided to move in with him. I wanted Bill to come to my house to live, but he didn't want the upkeep that a house requires and wanted me to come to the Villa. He had asked me to marry him, almost from the beginning of our courtship, but I had just lost an 87 year old man, and Bill was the same age, so I just said I would think about it, five years later I agreed. The date was set with Rabbi (Kunin) and Cantor (Bogomolny), invitations were designed and printed and 200 were sent out to our friends. Then tragically, the first of Febuary - on a bowling day, (as we bowled in a league on Wed.) Bill had a stroke from which he never recovered. We were so hopeful, as his physical signs were good, but he could not swallow or talk and died in March.
I still carried out the reception as we had so many people invited there was no way I could contact all of them. It was difficult, but I just felt confident he would recover and we could have the ceremony later. So after he passed on, the Villa was not the same for me. I did carry on with the activities we had performed together with the residents and helped Elmer, with his beautiful dance music, taking money at the door and just praying that someone would come along to dance with me.
Low and behold, a man named Angus Blench came to a dance when I was sitting at the door, and asked me if I would dance with him, I said "sure" at 2 p.m. when I pulled up stakes and brought the money to Elmer. I thought in my heart, but I didn't let on to him that I would dance with him to the end of my life. We had a few dates, I invited him to the Villa for special affairs and after awhile he asked me if I would like to live at his home. I had been over here and saw it was nice and neat. I met his daughter, Rosemary, who was living here at the time, and she approved, so it was all set.
At the end of 2001 we started moving a few of my items here and most of what I had at the Villa to storage. After six months I knew this was the place for me so I gave my furniture in storage to my son and daughter-in-law and lived with him for seven glorious years. Angus was my Prince without the shinning armor. He just swept me away from the Villa.
I might add: Angus and his wife Rose would come to the Villa on Thursday to dance. Bill and I took a liking to them and we'd sit together, visit and have an occasional dance, so he was no stranger to me. He had come a couple times before with a dancing partner and told me Rose had died just a month before Bill.
Angus and I had wonderful years together. We traveled to Scottland, his home, and all of the British Isles. We toured Europe and I got my picture taken in with him in front of the Leaning Tower of Piza. Unfortunately, he got Parkinsons and passed away in December of 2007. His daughters inherited the house and decided to remodel it, so I was homeless. My son came to my rescue and found me a little “doll house” to rent in El Cajon. When we realized I needed help with my daily activities and medications, my daughter, Patty, came to my rescue and moved into the same park. My son, who separated from his wife, sold his house in Vista and moved in to an RV park less than a mile away, so we have a very practical and cozy arrangement. I have made many friends at Lynnwood. I love playing Bingo on Wednesday nights. That is the best I can remember of my life.
Jane Ruth Rykerd.
- Graveside Service Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Jane Ruth Rykerd
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September 26, 2013
Grandma Jane, as she has always been to me, came into my life after my first grandma passed away. I will always be grateful for the love and care she gave Grandad Rykerd the last 20 years of his life. She always remembered everyone's birthdays and anniversaries all the way down to the great grand kids. I'm so thankful my oldest son and I were able to see her the last time we were in California. She was doing well that day and even though it was way to short, both of us will always cherish the memories we made that day. Grandma Jane will be greatly missed
September 17, 2013
Aunt Jane was a part of me, We would write back and fourth. for many years I would call and we talked, But when Jane was busy she would say You mush call back. This was always a high light of my day.
we send Birthday cards back and forth. We would talk about her family. I wanted to find out more about the family, My Mom and Aunt June, now they have passed. I loved my Aunt Jane..
Niece Diann Powell (Ellavsky) Columbia Heights, MN
Kathleen and Brandon Emerling Hom
September 13, 2013
I was so lucky to have Grandma Jane come into my life when I was 4 years old! She was a fantastic grandma and we always had so much fun! I will miss sending her letters and getting hers in the mail! I am so happy my Son- Brandon got to know her during our visit last year with her. We had just finished coloring pictures to mail to her the night she passed away. We miss her a lot already! May she RIP and have fun with my parents in heaven! Xo Grandma Jane!
September 11, 2013
I am so happy that my girls, Macy and Emma, were able to get to know their amazing great-grandmother!!! Truly a wonderful and inspiring life that she led, I am in awe of the challenges that she overcame in her life and the zeal with which she lived it. I am grateful that she left such a lasting, sweet gift as this biography. I will miss her hugs..........those were the best.