When we were in Columbus, Ohio recently, my Uncle David told me that Ruth Ellen died of Diphtheria. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that spreads easily and it affects mainly the throat and nose. It is rare in the developed world now as we vaccinate against it. In the early 20th century, Diphtheria was a common cause of death in children.
Dave's wife, Nancy, told me a story about visiting Emma (Ruth's mother) when they were first married (nearly 40 years ago). Emma was showing Nancy all the pictures of her family. She got to a picture of a pretty blonde girl and teared up. Finally, she said this was her daughter, Ruth. At that time, Ruth had died nearly 45 years earlier. It is a testament the power of a mother's love.