Ruth Dickerson was a vibrant person with a warm personality. She was a lover of all people, as well as a caring and compassionate mother and grandmother. Ruth lived her life giving selflessly and was a devoted partner over her many years. Her positive outlook, her wonderful sense of humor, and her of friendship will be forever remembered by her special family and friends.
The Roaring Twenties was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. Jazz music was booming, as well as the automotive industry, and the nation was seeing large scale industrial growth which brought about significant changes during this era. With the media focused on celebrities, Howard and Mildred (Spear) Hougendobler welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Ruth on February 5, 1925 in Whitley County. She arrived during a time in history that was filled with feelings of freedom and independence.
Growing up with six other siblings on a family farm in Thorncreek Township, she knew the value of a hard day’s work at an early age. By 1936, the family moved to another farm in Wells County near Ossian, where they all were required to pitch in and complete their fair share of chores. Graduating with the Class of 1943 from Ossian High School, Robert Moog swept her off her feet by the age of eighteen and they joined the growing arena of missionary work. Moving to Washington DC and on to Alabama and then back again to DC, she attended Washington Bible College while her husband worked as an associate pastor at the Open Door Chapel. Sadly, he passed away and she moved herself and her three daughters back home to Columbia City to live with her parents. When she regained her footing, she and the girls moved to the Fort Wayne area where she worked at Murphy’s department store before finishing out her career with Fort Wayne Community Schools.
As a widow, there wasn’t anything that would slow Ruth. Not having a driver’s license of her own until the age of 63, Ruth proudly taught each of her children how to explore Ft. Wayne by getting around by city bus and visiting different sites. Remarkably, once a year, she took her girls with her to North Webster where they would rent a cabin for the week and fish. Never one to turn down an adventure, she even managed to teach her daughter how to skin and prep her first catfish! Her sister was the catalyst for Ruth reconnecting with Richard Lee Dickerson, someone she had known from her growing up years. After dating a year or more, they joined in marriage on July 23, 1973. They enjoyed many wonderful years together and loved to travel. Watching for deer on long drives near the Chain of Lakes was their favorite pastime.
Moving back to Fort Wayne, Ruth held a vast array of special interests. She loved to fish, but enjoyed baking, cooking, and sewing even more! Her specialty was homemade pies. For one of her grandson’s graduation parties, she baked an impressive seventeen pies because he wasn’t a big fan of cake. She also had a quite a knack for embroidering and quilting. Each of her children were given a special quilt on their wedding day and each grandchild received a baby quilt or special item that she had made with love. As they grew to age 3, she would make them a quilt to cover their twin sized beds. She was a talented seamstress who relied on her gifts over the years to make extraordinary clothes for herself or her children by simply duplicating ensembles she had seen in store windows. Hard to believe she had any time left for her gardening, yet she loved to grow vegetables and flowers. She planted a variety of fruit trees and enjoyed canning and picking blueberries over the years.
A strong Christian woman, Ruth taught Sunday school for over forty years. For more than twenty years she was a member of Avalon Missionary Church and most recently she was a member of Community Bible Church. Amidst all of her amazing talents and hobbies, she loved to spend time with her growing family. She was a loving grandmother and adored each and every one of her grandchildren. She loved to teach them how to sew and share her favorite Bible stories. Over the years, Ruth managed to visit forty-seven states, but it was a goal for her to visit all 50! She was proud to say that she indeed visited the last of the fifty states and even traveled to Europe a few times. Described as strong-willed, yet loving, with a great sense of humor, Ruth will be deeply missed and fondly remembered for generations to come. A very special thank you goes out to Nancy Schlatter who provided her with such amazing care and to Lelia Brumfield for her special friendship to Ruth over the years.
Ruth (Hougendobler) Moog Dickerson, 92, of Ft. Wayne and formerly of Columbia City, passed away Sunday morning, April 2, 2017 at Englewood Health & Rehab. Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Lynn (Stan) Thompson, of Fort Wayne; sister, Elizabeth Leininger; brother, Virgyle Hougendobler; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; daughters, Carol Dimke and Gloria Crocker; sisters, Noreen Hougendobler, Marie Scheiman and Louise Double; and brothers, Orvil, Argyle and Weldon Hougendobler; granddaughter, Charity Dimke; and an infant great-grandchild, Alexis Dimke.
Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 6, 2017 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home with calling an hour prior to services. Entombment will follow at Nolt Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be given in Mrs. Dickerson's memory to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register book.