A. Ramona Ruggles

December 30, 2018 GMT

Sioux City

A. Ramona (Landers) Ruggles, 89, of Sioux City, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, at Brookdale Senior Living.

Ramona’s ashes will be buried beside her late husband’s ashes in a private graveside service to be held at a later date in Chanute, Kan., in Chanute Memorial Park Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Online condolences may be directed to www.meyerbroschapels.com.

A. (Alice) Ramona was born on Nov. 2, 1929, in Osborne, Kan. She was the second of six daughters born to Laurence Arthur and Nora May (Cox) Woolley. To Ramona’s consternation, she was given the same first name as her aunt and vied her whole life to be called Ramona, not Alice, though was constantly called an assortment of misspellings of her name. She was baptized as a member of the Congregational Church in Osborne. She grew up on her family farm in northern Kansas and milked five cows before and after school every day with her sisters. She enjoyed her childhood with her beloved tomcat, who she gave a name as complicated as her own, Thomas Aurelius Fortenatus Todd Woolley. Her grandchildren and family delighted in hearing stories about her cat and often asked her to recite his name.


Ramona graduated from Osborne High School in 1948. After graduation, she took a train out to Denver, Colo., to attend Central Business College. Following her time at college, she returned to Osborne to become the secretary for the superintendent in the Osborne Public School System. In 1950, she enrolled at Kansas State College in Manhattan, to pursue degrees in home economics and nursing, though she always made her future husband do the cooking at home. Ramona received her degree at Kansas State in 1953 and also received a bachelor of science in nursing in 1956 after continuing her nursing education at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. Her dual degrees permanently split her loyalty between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks. Her son and his family prefer not to talk about her Wildcat history. She worked at KU Medical Center in the medical/surgical and psychiatric nursing areas following graduation. Beginning in April 1957, Ramona was employed as a clinical instructor in the School of Nursing at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

On July 20, 1957, Ramona was united in marriage to Arthur Louis “Skip” Landers, of Dubuque, Iowa, at Congregational Presbyterian Church in Osborne. They soon moved to Oelwein, Iowa, where Ramona was employed as a staff nurse at Mercy Hospital. The next year involved more moves between Dubuque, where she worked as a clinical instructor at Finley Hospital, to Fort Knox, Ky., for her husband’s six-month assignment for temporary duty for basic infantry training before he went into the armored division of the Army. They returned to Kansas City, Mo., where she worked at St. Luke’s Hospital as a clinical instructor and was then promoted to a medical-surgical instructor. Ramona accepted a position at Shawnee Mission School District as a school nurse at Hocker Grove Junior High School.


In March 1962, Ramona gave birth to her only child, Kevin. He was the light of her life and continued to be so through her final days. In October 1962, she returned to St. Luke’s Hospital as a night clinical instructor. In 1975, Ramona received a master’s of science in counseling from Emporia State College in Emporia, Kan. Her education and knowledge of health benefited her throughout her life, and her nursing career spanned 43 years. Her marriage with Skip ended in 1986.

On Sept. 7, 1991, she married Dr. James “Jim” Ruggles of Yankton, S.D., at First United Methodist Church in Sioux City. Ramona and Jim became reacquainted from their time as students at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She retired from nursing in the mid-1990s and filled her retirement with frequent trips to Kansas, collecting Hummels, visiting with her sisters, writing letters, raising her beloved dogs, and visiting her grandchildren. Her husband died in September 2015, prompting her move to Sioux City in October 2016, to be closer to her son and his family. She grew to love her time living at Brookdale including the friendships she made and the staff who cared for her. She filled her time watching professional football games (rooting on the Kansas City Chiefs and hoping for a Patriots loss), watching college football and basketball (always cheering for the Kansas Jayhawks, of course), working on puzzles, chatting with her sisters and friends, participating in the fun activities at Brookdale, and spending time with her family, making them laugh until the very end.

Ramona is survived by her son and his wife, Kevin and Ann Landers of Sioux City; her grandchildren, Maren Landers and Randy Malone of Des Moines, and Jorie (Landers) and Endri Hidri of Des Moines; her sisters, Doris (Don) McReynolds of Chanute, Kan., Lola Roberts of Pikeville, N.C., Mary Ford of Nashville, Tenn., and Anita (Everett) Jenkins of Kansas City, Mo.; her late husband Jim’s family in South Dakota; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

Ramona was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James Ruggles; her sister and brother-in-law, Madonna and Sager Wilson; and her grandnephew, Ethan Carroll.

Donations in memory of Ramona may be made to Hospice of Siouxland.