Ruth Nielson

Ruth Elaine (Hodgins) Nielson passed peacefully from this life in Traverse City, Michigan on May 13, 2022 into long awaited glory with her Savior, Jesus Christ.  Born to Robert E. Hodgins and Lillian Amidon (Seaman) Hodgins on February 5, 1925, she was the youngest of four children (Donald, Bill, and Marie all preceded Ruth in death). She was the wife of Melvin K. Nielson who also preceded her in death after 66 years of marriage. Ruth is survived by her three sons, David, Steven, and Dale Nielson. 
Ruth Elaine (Hodgins) Nielson was born in Lake County, Michigan. She went to a one room school house through Eighth grade in Peacock, Michigan. Her family then moved to Gaylord for her high school years. She met her future husband, Melvin K. Nielson of Grayling, on a blind date. Ruth’s family moved again to Detroit where she entered nurses’ training at Henry Ford Hospital and graduated as a registered nurse. During World War II, Melvin continued to court Ruth via many love letters while he served on the European Front. She cherished and reread these letters throughout her life.  After his service to our country was completed, they were engaged and married in 1946. The young couple moved to Grayling where they raised three sons.  It was a modest beginning; Ruth used to recall how they built their first home in stages: they lived in the basement for three years before they could complete the upper levels of their home on Plum Street. Ruth and Melvin were active members of the Grayling community serving in many avenues but especially at Michelson Memorial Church and in business for four decades.
Melvin and Ruth moved to Traverse City in 1986 along with the family businesses. They enjoyed many years of travel and retirement, mostly to southern Florida. They loved God and cared deeply for people. Ruth had very close relationships with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved to play cribbage, golf, and watch the Golden Girls. She was a compassionate listener and a true advocate for her family.  Socially, Ruth was very shy, but when paired with the outgoing Melvin, they made a dynamic fun-loving duo who were often seen cutting-a-rug on the dance floor.  
A detailed story of Ruth’s life can be found beginning on page seventy-seven in the book “Man from Grayling” by Mike Stock available at the library in Grayling.  She had a deep relationship with God and longed for the day when she would behold the full presence of the Lord in Glory. Her family rejoices that she is living in that bliss for all eternity and they look forward to the day of their reunion. 
A private service will be held at a future date.  Memorial contributions can be directed to Munson Hospice.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Ruth’s family at her tribute page at 
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services. 

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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