Ruth Ann (Tunks) Howell, one of four daughters of Dale and Myrle (Stephens) Tunks, was born November 24, 1937 in Auburn, Nebraska. She attended Brownville Public School and graduated from Auburn High School in 1956.
On March 19, 1959 Ruth Ann was united in marriage to Elmer Howell at the Christian Church in Auburn, Nebraska. They made their home in Auburn, and would be blessed with three children: Cheryl, Mark, and Virginia.
Ruth Ann started working after high school with Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph in the Auburn office. She and Elmer then opened and ran Howell’s Café in Auburn until it burned down in 1975. Ruth Ann then provided daycare in her home for a few years until, again as a partner with Elmer, the couple purchased the Dairy Sweet in Auburn. They owned and operated the Dairy Sweet, with help from their children, for 18 years.
Always putting family first, Ruth Ann loved watching her kids and grandkids participate in sports and other activities as they grew. She was a Huskers fan, and cheered for John Elway and the Denver Broncos as well. During Elmer’s tenure as Legion Athletic Director, Ruth Ann helped him with the baseball program, in particular running the concession stand at home games.
In April of 2013, when her health was such that she could no longer stay at home, Ruth Ann became a resident of Long’s Creek Assisted Living in Auburn. She moved to the Good Samaritan Society-Auburn in June of 2015. It was there she passed away on Monday, October 5, 2015 at the age of 77 years, 10 months, and 11 days. Her parents, husband Elmer, and sister Andy preceded her in death.
Ruth Ann is survived by her children Cheryl Allen of Auburn; Mark Howell and fiancée Shawn of Lincoln; Virginia and husband Tony Walters of Omaha; grandchildren Shaunie Allen and fiancé Jake German, Nick Howell and fiancée Jess Hugo, Krystal Drzycimski and husband Paul, Emily Howell, Madison Walters, and Jacob Walters; great-grandchild Charlie Drzycimski; sisters Judy Mahood and husband Bob of Council Bluffs, IA; Sharon Hall and husband Norm of Monticello, KY; other relatives and many friends.
A memorial service will be Thursday, October 8, 11:00 a.m. at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn. Burial of ashes will be at Walnut Grove Cemetery at Brownville at a later date. Visitation (no viewing) will be at the funeral home Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends 6:00 to 8:00.