Ruth was born on Sept. 4, 1913 in Cowley. She was the youngest of four children born to Christian Emil and Ellamore Fitzgerald Neilson. She spent her childhood in Lovell, and graduated from Lovell High School in 1931. She married George Washington Hecht in Billings on May 16, 1931 and they began their married life on a farm in Powell. Three children were born to this union, Betty Ann, Robert Neilson and Harry George.
Ruth had a natural talent for music and she taught piano lessons for more than 40 years. Many local pianists got their start by sitting on the piano bench with Ruth by their side, counting beats. Ruth could also play the piano by ear. She played for numerous dance bands, weddings, funerals, church meetings and other community events held throughout the Big Horn Basin.
She was an excellent cook and her honey candy is especially remembered by many. She also enjoyed knitting, crocheting and crafts of all kinds. Her home was always a welcome place for any visitors and no one left hungry.
Ruth and George moved from their farm into Rocky Mountain Manor, where Ruth was living prior to her move to Colorado. Her husband, George, died in 1993.
Ruth was a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was also very active in the Riverside Club, Daughters of Utah Pioneers and the Music Teachers Association. She loved to learn and she took full advantage of courses at Northwest College and also enjoyed the many classes offered by Park County Extension Service. She was an avid genealogist and kept priceless records, along with numerous photos.
Ruth is survived by her son, Harry George of Brookings, S.D.; son-in-law, Cliff Boyce of Delta, Colo.; and a daughter-in-law, Jackie Hecht of Powell. Also surviving are grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, George; son, Robert; daughter, Betty; and daughter-in-law, Glenda. Her parents and siblings also preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be held at the LDS Avenue E Chapel in Powell on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. A viewing will be one hour before the service and from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18 at Thompson Funeral Home.
Burial will be at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements in Powell. The family suggests memorial donations to Homesteader Museum in Powell.