It is with deep regret that I must inform you that our wonderful Mother, Ruth Elser Harold, 89, of
Blue Springs, MO passed away on 11/08/2022, one day after her 89th birthday.
Born in Brooklyn, New York to German immigrant parents, Ruth paid bills, taxes and did
shopping at a very young age because she was bilingual. Her much older brother, Dr. Otto H
Elser, MD was first in the military and then later at Medical School, so Ruth became invaluable
to her parents as an English speaker in terms of taking care of business. Ruth studied piano
beginning at 5 years old and actively played all her life. Her family moved to Independence, MO
gathering with the RLDS church, Ruth attended the local congregations.
Always an excellent student, Ruth attended William Chrisman High School where she
graduated Valedictorian in 1951 in the same building that would later Headquarter the Remnant
Church. She then studied Nursing at the University of Kansas (KU) School of Nursing where
she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and was a Registered Nurse (RN). Attending a
school mixer, she met a shy Chemical Engineering grad student named Lane Harold whom she
would later marry for 63 years.
Lane and Ruth set their wedding date for April 21, 1956 in Independence, MO only to learn that
President Truman’s daughter, Margaret later picked the same date. “No one will come to our
wedding” Ruth despondently surmised. To her surprise and amazement, Life Magazine, in town
to cover Margaret’s wedding, did a small piece in the corner of one page entitled “The Other
Wedding in Independence, MO” and featured a single picture of Lane and Ruth’s wedding kiss.
We have 5 copies of that issue.
Ralph was born in 1959 and Janet in 1965. Ruth worked as a Medical/Surgical Nurse at the
Independence Sanitarium and Hospital which later became Independence Regional and then
Centerpoint. She began teaching Anatomy and Physiology at Research Medical Center, later at
the Manual Career and Technical Center and finally at Missouri Western State University in St.
Joseph, MO. She also worked in the Progressive Care Unit (Step-Down) at Medical Center of
An excellent pianist, Ruth humbly played for countless Church services, reunions and soloists.
She was the typist, proofreader and stenographer for Lane’s many religious books, pamphlets
Ruth loved Cooking, Gardening and Canning. She ensured that her German cooking heritage
remained alive in her two children and numerous grandchildren.
Her real forte, though, was caring for others, especially the elderly. While this spun from her
training in Nursing, Ruth perfected Eldercare before Long Term Care nursing was even
conceived. Ironically, despite never wanting to be a burden to others, Ruth developed
Alzheimer’s and the incredible nurse, mother, wife and multitasker was reduced to being totally
dependent. Her clean living and being “perfect on paper” gave her a heart and lungs that
wouldn’t stop despite her mind being robbed from her.
She passed peacefully with her family at her side November 8, 2022, one day after her 89th
birthday. Remember her smile, laughter and her “Can Do” spirit. She was preceded in death by
her parents, George and Lena Else; her brother, Dr. Otto Elser, MD; a nephew, Robert Elser and
her beloved spouse Lane Harold. She is deeply MISSED and LOVED. In lieu of Flowers, the
family suggests gifts to KU Nursing Association or Alzheimer's Foundation.