Ruth Ann Nicewonger, 70, of Heyworth, passed peacefully at home in her sleep on August 4, 2022, after a long battle with chronic illnesses. She was born June 1, 1952, in Bloomington, IL, to Robert W. Floyd and Alice McCorkle Floyd. She is survived by her husband and longtime friend, Eugene C. Nicewonger, with whom she shared nearly 50 years of marriage. They were married at Shiloh Chapel United Methodist Church in rural Weldon, IL, on January 28, 1973.\r\n\r\nRuth is also survived by two daughters: Beth (Tim) Pannell of Tallahassee, FL, and Gina (Kirk) Mason of Charlotte, NC; four grandchildren: Adelaide and Juniper Pannell, and Thaddeus and Hannigan Mason; three sisters: Reba (Chris) Karr of Seymour, IL, Marna Bonnell of Milton, WI, and Leta (Joe) Buhrmann of Normal, IL; as well as 13 nieces and nephews and their families, all of whom loved and were deeply touched by her.\r\n\r\nShe was preceded in death by her parents and mother and father-in-law.\r\n\r\nA graduate of DeLand-Weldon High School, Ruth attended Illinois State University and earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1974, and a master's degree in information science in 1980. She served as the district librarian for Heyworth Unit 4 schools for 33 years, where she sponsored the Heyworth High School Hornette newspaper staff, National Honor Society, and Key Club. She started her career as the high school librarian in 1974, and later became the K-12 librarian, dividing her day between the elementary and high school/junior high buildings. Upon her retirement in 2007, Ruth continued to serve as a substitute for Heyworth schools for several years.\r\n\r\nRuth was a lifelong volunteer and gave of her time and talents with a servant's heart. She was a member of the United (Methodist) Church of Heyworth for 48 years, and loved singing in the church choir. She served on many committees and in many roles, including chair of the Education Council on Ministries, and as church librarian and historian. In her retirement, Ruth was asked to start a new program at the church called Caring Ministries. It included Stephen Ministries, an outreach of lay members to people in the church and community who were struggling with physical and mental health issues. She also volunteered by visiting nursing home patients and helping at the community food pantry. Ruth was involved in the Federated Woman's Club and their many community service projects. She also served on the Advocate BroMenn Hospital Church Delegate Executive Board. Ruth was an active member and served as a president for the Tau Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international society for key women educators, and was a member of the Illinois School Library Media Association, Illinois Association Media in Education (region 8 committee), Illinois Library Association, Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Beta Alpha, and Phi Alpha Theta. She also served Heyworth as a 4-H leader and a volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 31.\r\n\r\nIt goes without saying that Ruth loved to read. She also enjoyed history and research and found great pleasure in helping students find books they would enjoy and resources that would help them with their research papers. Ruth enjoyed embroidery and sewing, detective TV shows, and traveling. She called her 2009 travels to Israel and Jerusalem "the trip of a lifetime." Other travel highlights included trips to Italy, to New England, and multiple visits to National Parks in the western United States.\r\n\r\nPlease join us in celebrating Ruth's life on Friday, August 12, 2022, with a visitation reception at 5:30 p.m. and a memorial service at 6:30 p.m. at the United Church of Heyworth, 302 E. Main Street, Heyworth, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation research or the United Church of Heyworth missions.