June 4, 2013 5:30 AM
Was born in Belvidere, Illinois and was raised in the nearby town of Elgin, Illinois. She completed her training as a registered nurse in 1937. While she was working at a hospital in Indiana she met a medical resident, Howard N. Cookson. Love was in the air and they were married in July 1939.
Howard and Ruth relocated west to the town of Arroyo Grande, California where Howard begin his medical practice. Ruth supported Howard in his busy medical practice, was a loving mother to their three children, a dedicated homemaker, and was very active in the community.
After Howard's death in 1962, Ruth returned to nursing, first as a hospital nurse then as an office nurse. A job opportunity led her to move to Santa Barbara in 1965. As Ruth gained experience working in medical offices, she could do any job that needed to be done. Nursing, insurance billing, reception, personnel - she did it all. Around this time her children were traveling and away to boarding school. During this time Ruth acted as the "glue" that keep the family unit together. Her children considered it an honor and privilege to have Ruth join them in their travels whenever she could.
As her children became more independent, Ruth was able to travel extensively and do charity work in the Santa Barbara area. She served as a missionary more than 36 months between 1982 and 1986 in the Marshall Islands, with shorter periods of service in Argentina and the Bahamas. She was very active in the Santa Barbara Seventh-day Adventist church and worked in the church office for many years.
Ruth enjoyed living at the Maravilla retirement community from 2003 to 2012, taking advantage of their many activities and trips.
On May 15, 2013 in her 96th year the Lord sent an angel to Ruth with an invitation to join him.
Ruth is survived by her son John, daughters Cynthia and Elva, 3 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. She was devoted to her family and greatly enjoyed family celebrations. She had a positive impact on all who knew her and will always be remembered for her unwavering faith, compassionate nature, and willingness to provide assistance.
Her family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff at Valle Verde health center where Ruth lived the last few months of her life and was treated with dignity and kindness.
A celebration of Ruth's life will be held at the Santa Barbara Seventh-day Adventist church July 6,2013 at 2:00 PM