Ruth was born on Oct. 2, 1916, on a farm southeast of Early, in Sac County. She was the daughter of Delbert and Jessie Armagost Wolford and was oldest of their five children. She spent her earlier years in the Fonda and Mallard area before returning to Early at the age of six. The remainder of her life was spent in Early, where she attended school and graduated from Early Consolidated School in 1936. She was baptized and a life long member of the Early United Methodist Church and a charter member of the Early United Methodist Women. Through the years, she served on many church committees and held various offices in the United Methodist Women. She was active in local church activities and was a member of the Early Order of Eastern Star and advanced to the position of Worthy Matron. She was also a member of the Early Federated Women's Club as a member of Todays Home Department.
Ruth was united in marriage to Foster C. Steele on June 19, 1937, at the Methodist Parsonage in Early. Three sons were born to this union: Donald, Dennis and Jerald. All three sons completed their elementary and high school education at the same school as both their parents.
Before her marriage, she worked as a telephone operator for the local telephone company. She spent the following years as a homemaker while her boys were at home going to school. As the boys grew older, she worked at the local hardware store for ten years and then as a secretary for the Ray Stevens Insurance Agency for 17 years. After retiring, she enjoyed spending time gardening, working with her flowers, but most especially spending time with her family. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were the apples of her eye.
Ruth remained living independently in her own home until the age of 90, when she became a resident of Methodist Manor in Storm Lake.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Foster in 1981, also her parents, Delbert and Jessie Wolford, brother Clarence in infancy and a brother Glen.
Ruth is survived by her three sons: Donald C. and wife Glenda of Windsor Heights; Dennis R. and wife Mary Lou of Early; and Jerald L. and wife Susan of Waukee. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Robin Denkinger and husband Mark of Johnston; Lisa DeMarco and husband John of Cumming, Ga.; Chris Steele and wife Jennifer of Des Moines; Janelle Goettsch and husband Andy of Galva; Katie Ehrp and husband Matt of Early; and Lindsay Wierson and husband Chad of Grimes; twelve great grandchildren: Madison and Drew Denkinger; Angela and Lia DeMarco; Tristen, Austin, Kallie and Drew Goettsch; Tyler and Hannah Ehrp; Caden Wiersen; and Tyson Steele; and two sisters: Alyce Waters and husband Richard of Cedarburg, Wisc. and Lola Wadsworth of Des Moines.