Ruth Van Ackeren 1906-2002

Ruth was the daughter of George S. and Clara (Hendrickson) Pollard. She grew up in the small town of Lakeside, Nebraska and is fondly remembered by all the "old timers" of the surrounding area. One of the old timers, Bill Shrewsbury, mentioned that a phone conversation with Ruth would usually continue for hours. He always enjoyed their reminiscing of old times, and stated that she had an unequaled memory. I found this to be true during my few conversations with her during which I mostly listened. If only I could remember a tenth of the stories she told.
The first conversation I had with Ruth was when she called to ask me about the cemetery in Lakeside. Someone had told her I was the current sexton. "Well", I said, "I sure don't know if I have a title, but I have been doing some mowing and have been involved with marking the plots for most of the funerals there since 1978". She said "You may not know it but I was the sexton many years ago and I would like to have a marker placed on the Fitsimmons grave. I have arranged for a marker to be made.Would you be able to mark the location? It had a wooden fence around it." I told her the fence had fallen down years ago and had been removed but I did know the location and would be glad to mark it for them. It was certainly nice of her and I will always remember her generosity.
Mrs. Van Ackeren was the author of historical books, articles and short stories about western Nebraska. She was co-author of The Women Who Made the West Bartlett Richards, Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman and Lawrence Bixby, Preserver of the Old West.
Ruth was preceded in death by 3 husbands, Warren DeBorde, Forest Morse, and Edwin Van Ackeren. She died April 10, 2002, but her memory lives on.