Ruth Ann Gerhard Page

Name: Ruth Ann Gerhard Page

Lifespan:  81 years, 1922-2013. Born in Plankinton, 3/12/1922. Died in Plankinton, 9/3/2003. Buried in Plankinton Cemetery.

Locations: Plankinton (1922), Yankton (1940), Plankinton (1944), Dudley Twp (1952), Plankinton (1955), Winters in Mesa, AZ (@1990-2002).

Spouse: Hershell R. Page, 1924-. Born in Dudley Twp. Married 1/19/1952 in Plankinton. Farmer, Banker. Both sets of grandparents homesteaded in Dudley Twp.

Profile: Ruth Ann’s young life with an invalid mother taught her much about family love, perseverance, and patience. Her talent for musical performance gave her great joy throughout her life as a pianist, singer, choir director, and teacher. Her love of God and her commitment to education and community made her an active and valuable volunteer in her church and the wider community. Her delight in conversation and her genuine interest in people earned her many lifelong friends. For her nine children, she created a fun and loving family environment. In the midst of the often chaotic and boisterous household, she delivered valuable lessons of love, patience, tolerance, personal responsibility and kindness. She was the proud grandmother of ten, and excited about her soon-to-be-born twin grandchildren. To her husband, she was the most wonderful wife, always supportive, always interested, and sharing in their love of music, dancing, and travel, as well as the success of the family business. Ruth Ann lived a full and rich life, secure in the love of her family and constant in her faith in God.

Roles/Talent: Wife, mother, teacher, musician, business owner, farmwife (briefly), homemaker, community volunteer.

Parents: Henry Thomas Gerhard and Ruth Landregan Carr. F:German, M:Euro-American.

Children: 9 children born 1952-1966. James/Jim (Sharon Hall), Jane, Ruth (William Jones), Ann (Reed Anderson), Thomas/Tom(Cheryl Watson), Scott (Robin Dodd), John (Lucy Lee), Mark (Gina Fabio), Mary.

Sisters: None

Brothers: None

Education: Plankinton High School, B. A, Yankton College, Education and Music, 1944.

Work Experience: Taught High School English and Music. Taught piano lessons and directed community choirs. Majority owner and Vice President of Farmers and Merchants State Bank; Board member, but not employee.

Church, Clubs and Organizations: Presbyterian, then Catholic in 1952. Eastern Star, Cub Scout and 4-H Leader, Charter Member Aurora County Historical Society, Plankinton Centennial Committee, 1981, Catholic Daughters, P.E.O., American Association of University Women.

Family Connections/Occupations: Ruth Ann’s grandparents Fred and Margaret Powers Gerhard, and her parents, Ruth and Henry Gerhard, moved to Plankinton in 1914 when they purchased the Farmers and Merchants State Bank. Through her husband, Ruth Ann was connected to the Page, Magonegil and Kelly families, homesteaders in Dudley Twp. In 2021, her husband still lived in Plankinton, and the family still owned the local bank.

Time in Aurora County: 76, all but college years and one year teaching

Physical Appearance: Medium height, brown hair, about 5’6”, full-bodied.

Date of Submission: January 2021

Latest Update: April 21, 2021

Name and Contact Information of Submitter: Ruth Page Jones, rpjhistories@gmail.com