Our very beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Ruth Bylund Kjar, 98, peacefully returned to the warm embrace of her eternal companion, Ben Curtis Kjar, and many others of her eternal family, on the morning of April 4, 2018 in Mt. Pleasant. Her life of loving, consistent, gentle service to family and community started at a young age—she began canning peaches with her family at the age of three because her hands were small enough to fit inside the jars and clean them. As she grew, she kept those hands moving in the service of others throughout her life, blessing her husband and five children.
Ruth left an indelible mark on all who knew her because she exuded the pure love of Christ in her dealings with others. Her love provided strength, not only to her, but to many others in moments of need. A person always was better after talking with and spending time with Ruth.
Ruth was born September 23, 1919, in Provo, Utah, the fourth of nine children born to Eric Olaf Bylund and Sophia Kirstine Johansen. She married Ben Curtis Kjar on October 31, 1941, in the Manti Temple, and was blessed with a large and growing posterity in more ways than anyone could possibly count. Ben preceded her in death June 24, 2007.
Though Ruth served in many callings, including Relief Society president, she never needed a calling in order to serve. She noticed the needs of those around her and filled those needs. Her thousands of bottles of delicious chili sauce, pickles, and peaches, filled the tables of thousands of family dinners and fended off hunger for many a grandchild in college. She knew, and helped others know, how to take what was available, organize, and preserve it into something wonderful, and then share with others. In her eighties, she was known to hurry off to provide dinner to an "old widow," and at 90 could still be found making wedding tarts for special occasions.
As a master gardener, Ruth designed and cared for her beautiful yard. She knew the name of every plant, flower, and tree she lovingly placed in just the right spot. Many family weddings, reunions, and parties benefitted from the peaceful environment her great care and hard work provided. Ruth also loved doing crossword puzzles. Sewing was another of Ruth’s hidden talents. She spent many a night at the sewing machine making birthday, graduation, and Christmas outfits for each of her girls. Her hands were never idle—always doing tatting, crocheting, knitting, and ceramics.
Ruth also found time to contribute to society by serving as president of the Utah Chapter of the American Legion, working in a parachute factory during World War II, and contributing many years as an employee of Zions Bank.
Many a grandchild knew where her goodie drawer was located, and they always felt her continual love. Her passion of family history has educated her posterity and spread the spirit of connecting families forever. We can only imagine the joy that is now hers, connecting with loved ones as easily as she showed love here on earth. We honor her and cherish her kind contributions to family, church, and community.
She is survived by her children: Curtis (Becky) Kjar, Manti; Maxine (Denton) Bramwell, Layton; Maree (Stephen) Ohlsen, Payson; Lila (John) Ericksen, Mt. Pleasant; and Steven (Carol) Kjar, Manti; 21 grandchildren, 70 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-granddaughter; brother Sterling Bylund. Preceded in death by parents and siblings.
The family would like to thank all those who lovingly cared for her in her time of need.
Funeral services will be held Monday, April 9, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. in the Manti Tabernacle, where friends may call on Sunday, from 6-8 p.m. and Monday from 9:30-10:30. Burial will be in the Manti City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com