Ruth (Gies) Boner, 96, of Rapid City, South Dakota, former long time resident of Lusk, Wyoming, passed away after a brief illness on March 5, 2018 at the VA Medical Center in Fort Meade, South Dakota.
Ruth was born January 30, 1922 in LaSalle, Colorado, to German Russian immigrants John A. and Katherine (Feagler) Gies. Growing up on the farm during the depression helped shape how she lived the rest of her life. She graduated from Galeton, Colorado high school in 1939. After high school she took her civil service test and attended radio school. Ruth joined the U.S. military as a WAC (Women’s Army Corps) in April 1943. She fulfilled a two year assignment in a laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and served a year in the European Theater of Operations. While awaiting passage back to the USA she attended the American University of Biarritz in France. After being discharged from the military as a Tech 4, Ruth pursued her education at Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley, Colorado and obtained a degree in Business Education and English. Upon graduation Ruth taught at Fremont County High School in Lander, Wyoming for one year and then moved to Lusk, Wyoming in the 1951-1952 school years. The move was prompted by an offer to increase her salary from $2,600 to $3,200 per year. Ruth’s primary classes were Consumer and Vocational Business. She also taught English and Social Studies. In 1966 the Lusk Tiger yearbook was dedicated to her for her dedicated work in the N.C.H.S. Business Department and many Annual Staffs she sponsored during her first 14 years of teaching at N.C.H.S.
Ruth had an opportunity to travel back to Europe after the war with friend Dolores DeCastro. During their two month excursion she had the chance to revisit some of the places she had seen during her deployment in Europe and explore many new countries.
In 1964 Ruth married the love of her life, Earl Boner of Edgemont, South Dakota. From that union they had one child, a daughter, Barbara. Earl was a U.S. Army veteran having served duty during the Korean War. Earl was instrumental in the discovery of the uranium mines near Edgemont, South Dakota. Earl passed away September 18, 1972.
After 31 years of teaching at Lusk and Niobrara County High School, she continued to live in Lusk and kept busy by volunteering her time. She was the State Coordinator for the AARP and IRS program to establish and provide volunteers throughout Wyoming to do pro bono income tax returns for elderly and handicapped individuals. She also was active in lobbying the Wyoming State Legislature to promote programs for the elderly. Ruth often traveled to Greeley, Colorado; Narberth, Pennsylvania; Bullhead City, Arizona; and La Mirada, California to spend time with her sisters and brothers-in-law. They remained close all their lives and always had a great time together.
In her retirement Ruth enjoyed going to the Niobrara Senior Center on an almost daily basis for over 30 years, not only for lunch, but for the camaraderie and friendship. Ruth also enjoyed making crafts, gardening, traveling, playing cards, doing crossword puzzles, and cooking for the family, especially at Thanksgiving. Playing bridge with her friends was a special passion.
Ruth moved to the independent living senior apartments at St. Martin Village in Rapid City, South Dakota in September of 2015. Leaving her longtime home was a difficult choice, but Ruth embraced her new life. She loved being able to spend more time with Barb and George. Up until the time of her death she enjoyed going to Deadwood, poker parties, and playing Bunco and Bingo.
Ruth is survived by her daughter Barbara (George) Mangulis of Piedmont, South Dakota; George’s children Matthew (Jenny) Mangulis and family of Mankato, Minnesota; Marisa (Nick) Alderson and family of Lancaster, Wisconsin; George’s sisters Astra Mangulis of Lakewood, Colorado; Andra Mangulis of Lakewood, Colorado; Anita (Martin) Rubenis and family of Lakewook, Colorado; Ruth’s sisters Eileen (Charles) Hover of Narberth, Pennsylvania and Dorothy Capron of Colorado Springs, Colorado; niece Sue (Milton) Sommers of Colorado Springs, Colorado; niece Debra Somer of Greeley, Colorado, numerous great-nieces and nephews; and the extended Boner and Wing families.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, husband Earl R. Boner, sisters Barbara Somer and her husband Raymond Somer, Helen Bradley and her husband William Bradley, a brother John Gies Jr., brother-in-law Richard C. Capron, niece Jeanette Lowe, and nephew Donald Somer.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Lusk Wyoming at Pier Funeral Home at 2:00 P.M. on the 24th of March. Military Honors will be presented at the Lusk Cemetery, followed by a coffee at the Congregational Church.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Niobrara Senior Center, PO Box 928, Lusk, WY 82225; the Palliative & Hospice Care at the VA Medical Center, Fort Meade, SD; Niobrara County Library, PO Box 510, Lusk, WY 82225; or to the donor’s choice.
Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Niobrara County Senior Center
PO Box 928, Lusk WY 82225-0928
Palliative & Hospice Care
VA Medical Center, Fort Meade SD
Niobrara County Library
PO Box 510, Lusk WY 82225