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Ruth Margaret Berg Hackett

May 1, 2019
Estherville News

Ruth Margaret Berg Hackett, 101, of Estherville, Iowa, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 29, 2019, at Keystone Cedars in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Upon Ruth's wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no service. A private family Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Ruth was born on her parents' farm at Twelve Mile Lake south of Estherville on September 23, 1917, and lived most of her life in Estherville, a place she always considered home. Her great-grandparents were among the first settlers of that town, along with the Ridleys, the town's founders. Ruth graduated from Estherville High School in 1935, and from Estherville Junior College in 1937. She worked for The Estherville Daily News after graduation in a variety of positions including bookkeeper and society editor. Ruth married George F. Hackett, also of Estherville, on January 2, 1943, while he was on leave from the United States Navy. While he served on a PT boat in the English Channel in World War II, she lived in Estherville, Iowa, with her mother, Helen Berg. George and Ruth had three children and Ruth devoted her time and attention to raising them while George worked for the Rock Island Railroad. As the children grew up, Ruth worked a variety of jobs including children's librarian at the Estherville Public Library and aide in the Estherville public school systems. In later life, she became very involved in researching her and her husband's families, tracing her Norwegian and his English ancestors back to the 16th century. That led her to researching early Estherville history and publishing several articles in The Estherville Daily News. Ruth also answered inquiries for the Emmet County Genealogical Society and helped many people to reconnect with their ancestors and adoptees to find their birth families. She was active as a volunteer for the Emmet County Historical Society and participated in the establishment of Peterson Point Historic Farmstead, by High Lake, her maternal great-grandparents' homestead. Ruth and George enjoyed attending farm auctions, collecting and refinishing antiques that they gave to their children and grandchildren. She took great joy in all her children and grandchildren. Ruth constantly questioned authority. She taught her children and grandchildren to be persistent and always stand up for what they believed. Ruth was active in supporting Dinner Date, the senior congregate meals in Estherville. In 2010, at the age of 93, she moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to be near her daughter. Ruth's remains will be buried in the family plot in the Wallingford Lutheran Cemetery. There she can return to her beloved family and Northwest Iowa.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis E. and Helen Johnson Berg; by her older siblings, Arthur Berg, W.T. Berg, Juanita Berg Carlson, Marvell Berg, and Nina Berg Rockis; and by her husband, George F. Hackett. Ruth is survived by her children, John S. Hackett III (Claudia) of Germantown, Tennessee, Mary Hackett Ernst (Dr. Bruce Gantz) of Marion, Iowa, and Dr. Nancy Ann Hackett of St. Paul, Minnesota; and by her beloved grandchildren, Annastacia Hackett of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Stephanie Hackett of New York City, New York, Emily Ernst (Woody Leel) of Dallas, Texas, and Amanda Ernst (Lincoln Hackert) of Marion, Iowa; and one great-grandson, George D. Hackett of New York City, New York.

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Memorials in her name may be made to any of Ruth's strong interests such as Peterson Point, Emmet County Historical Society, Emmet County Genealogical Society, or Dinner Date. Remembrances may be directed to the family at 2230 Windsor Court, Marion, Iowa 52302.

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