Ruth Irene Hammond-Ash, age 96, of Alma, Nebraska passed away peacefully Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Harlan County Health System Hospital, Alma, Nebraska. She was born January 8, 1928, in Ainsworth, Nebraska, the youngest and only daughter to Elmer Thomas and Mary Amelia (Robins) Allison.
Ruth was blessed with 3 older brothers who spoiled her daily. Ruth attended rural school in Brown County, south of Ainsworth, Nebraska, then attended High School at Ainsworth High School. On January 12, 1945, at the age of 16 she married Virgil Leonard Hammond a young handsome man who was serving his country in the United States Navy. To this union two sons were born: Gary L. “Butch” & Jerry D. Hammond. As the boys grew Ruth and Virgil ran a dairy and delivered milk to people in town. Ruth was a good farm wife and could be found helping where needed.
In 1960, she and her family moved to Holdrege, Nebraska where she accepted the position of office manager for Artistic Woven Label for 8 years at the same ^me she also kept the books for the family owned and operated DX station, located in downtown Holdrege. In 1967 she and her family moved to Alma, Nebraska where she was the office manager at the Harlan County Hospital. She, Virgil and the boys owned and operated the Flying “H” Lounge where many lifelong friendships were made. She also kept the books for Hammond Flying Service and their farming business. One story that still circulates is when Virgil crashed their Pawnee Spray plane and the call for the emergency unit came out over the Plectron Pager, Ruth passed both the ambulance and the fire truck in her car on the gravel road and was in the field with Virgil when help arrived. Her husband Virgil passed away on October 15, 2002.
After rekindling a friendship with George Ira Ash at a Memorial Day Class Reunion back in Ainsworth, she would marry George on December 30, 2005. Ruth and George bought a camper and traveled to see family and friends and to many sites they were both interested in. Ruth had a special relationship with her Grandchildren and was always all smiles when any of them came to see her. Her love of cooking benefited not only her family but the many patrons through the years at the Flying “H”. Ruth was also blessed with a green thumb and in the summer was seen under the shade of her big straw hat squatted in her yard or garden pulling weeds. She was a self-taught seamstress and, in the day, made shirts for her boys and her own clothing. Her patterns, her own creations were cut from brown paper bags. She also sewed for Betty Streff at Apple Kays. Her final job, her most favorite, before retirement was driving a Bus route for Alma Public Schools and as she put it, carrying precious cargo to and from school.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husbands Virgil and George, brothers Glen, Ralph and Clarence, sisters-in-law Violet Allison, Olive Allison, LuRee Parks Allison, Mary Allison, and Patty Allison and her Grandson in Law Kevin L. Schafer. She is survived by her sons Gary “Butch” & wife Bonnie Hammond of Alma, Nebraska, Jerry & wife Tuwanna Hammond of Oxford, Nebraska. 11 Grandchildren and Spouses, and 23 Great-Grandchildren who love her and will cherish her memory. She is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.