Ruth Kjar of Mt. Pleasant
is woman of many talents
By Emily Staley
Nov. 23, 2017
MT. PLEASANT—Ruth Kjar is a woman of many talents.
Ruth Kjar was born in Provo, Utah on September 23, 1919 to Eric Olaf Bylund and Sophia Johansen Bylund. On her 98th birthday this year, she wished only to “live to have another birthday”.
While growing up, Ruth lived in many homes around Provo and Orem. During her teenage years, the Great Depression (1929-1939) impacted her family. She remembers her father working very hard to provide for them.
After graduating high school, Ruth worked her way through Brigham Young University for two years, and then moved to Salt Lake City to be close to her new job at an insurance company.
Here Ruth met the love of her life, Ben Kjar, who was staying at the same boarding house. The two were married on Halloween; October 31, 1941. Ben and Ruth had many adventures together. One of which consisted of following a bandit and getting kidnaped, then miraculously returning home safely.
The Kjars had twins, Curtis Bylud and Maxine. Later two daughters Maree and Lila Dee and a son, Steven,were added to the family.
Ruth worked at a parachute plant for a couple of years until she landed a job at the Manti City Bank (now Zions First National Bank), working as a bookkeeper, teller, secretary and Operations Officer. She worked for about 30 years until retiring in 1986.
Throughout her life, Ruth has brightened the lives of those around her. She has served as president of the Ladies Literary Club, as the president of both Relief Society and Young Women’s programs in her church, and countless more leadership and altruistic activities. She loved genealogy and spent many hours searching her family lines, as well as helping others do theirs.
“She could never be idle and sit without doing something” her daughter Lila Ericksen recalled; “After she got off work and the kids got out of school, we’d run to Provo to buy material. Then we’d come home; she’d cut it out and sew all night. We’d wake up and she’d have us a new dress for school. We always had Christmas dresses and birthday dresses, and they were very pretty; a lot better than store bought dresses.”
Ruth used her talents to make her own wedding dress. Later she sewed her daughters’ prom and wedding dresses too.
Ruth’s talents don’t stop with designing and sewing clothing. She crocheted, tatted lace, and loved to play around with ceramics. “We made lots of ceramics and painted them and everything.” Ruth says. Some of her interest in painting came from her mother who was also a talented painter.
When asked about her yard, Ruth’s eyes would light up; “Oh my goodness! We had such a big yard! We had deer that stayed in the back yard a lot. We had peonies and roses and everything!” Daughter Lila said that her mom could “grow anything.”
Ruth kept up her beautiful yard by herself up until she was in her 80’s.
“There were good times and bad times.” Ruth explained. “It was a good life.”
Ruth lived in her own home until 3 months ago, and now lives happily in Mt. Pleasant. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild love her dearly. She is looked up to and admired.
Her son, Steve Kjar explained in a simple statement; “She is the most perfect woman.”