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MADISON—Ruth Mae Erickson Davis of Madison, age 96, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at UW Hospital. She was born, one of ten children, on May 20, 1922, to Lenora “Nora” Tysland Erickson and Edward Erickson in Waterville, Iowa. She married John R. “Jack” Davis of Bangor, Wis., on July 18, 1945.

Ruth graduated from Waukon High School and then trained in cosmetology. She worked in her sister’s beauty shop in Bangor for three years. During World War II, with five brothers, one sister and a fiancé in active service, she made her contribution to the war effort working at Fort McCoy Hospital.

After the war, she married Jack and moved to Madison. She worked for American Family Insurance until her children, Linda and Robert were born. She was then very active in Westminster Presbyterian Church in Madison. She called on the sick and home bound, participated in circle activities, served as an elder and deacon, and taught Sunday school.

Ruth was an avid reader, reading thousands of books in her lifetime. In childhood, she remembered always having her nose in a book. At the end of life, she would read her Waterville, Iowa book to all who would listen at the Attic Angel Health Center. Ruth loved music. Harmonizing with her sister and granddaughter brought her great joy. Coming from a talented athletic family, Ruth enjoyed watching and cheering varied sports events and teams. She felt great pride in playing high school basketball.

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Ruth Davis is survived by her daughter, Linda (Neal) Halsey of Towson, Md.; her son, Robert (Mary) Davis of Madison; two granddaughters and three grandsons, Kärin Halsey of Detroit, Mich., Beth Halsey of Baltimore, Md., Eric Davis of Madison, Mike (Nicole) Davis of Madison and Chris Davis (Stephanie Mondloch) of Madison. She is also survived by her sister; and best friend, Lorna (Dick) Conners of Oshkosh; along with many nieces and nephews. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and brothers and sisters Carol Ragsdale, Ellsworth Erickson, Alton Erickson, Merlin Erickson, Dorothy Kabat, Cornell Erickson, Vernon Erickson, Earl Dale Erickson.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 4100 Nakoma Road, Madison. Memorials may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The family would like to thank the staff at Attic Angel and UW Hospital for their care and kindness, and to Bob and Mary for their tireless advocacy and caring they gave to our beloved mother. Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

the life of: Davis, Ruth Mae Erickson
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