Ruth Pommer


April 21, 1931 - February 17, 2019


Ruth Aylward Pommer, 87, a longtime resident of Alexandria, and former postmaster of Fulton, passed away peacefully after receiving Last Rites from Rev. Dana Christensen on February 17, 2019, at Firesteel Healthcare Center in Mitchell.

Funeral Mass will be 10:30 am Thursday, February 21 at St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church in Alexandria. Burial will be in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery at Lennox, SD at 3:00 PM Thursday with fellowship to follow. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm on Wednesday with a scripture service at 7:00 pm at the church in Alexandria. Arrangements are with the Bittner Funeral Chapel in Mitchell.

Ruth was born April 21, 1931 to Albert and Katherine (Osterloo) Ludens near Lennox. She was raised on the family farm and attended Lennox schools graduating from high school in 1949, and later taught in a country school.

On April 13, 1950, Ruth married Philip “Boz” Aylward at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Tea. They had six children — Kathleen, Kenneth, Philip, Thomas, Patricia and Teresa and resided over the years in Tea, Sioux Falls, Davis, Wall Lake and Alexandria in South Dakota, and in Wayne, Nebraska. Philip farmed and was longtime custodian of the Alexandria School. Ruth was a homemaker and energetic volunteer in a host of community activities over many years. Philip died in a January 1969 car accident.

 Ruth worked at various times as a pin setter, egg candler, teacher, custodian at Alexandria School, pastry cook at Loretta’s Truck Haven and nurse’s aide at St. Joseph Hospital. She was also employed by the United States Post Office at Alexandria, Mitchell and Fulton, and retired as Fulton’s postmaster.

She was a busy civic booster and volunteer, including as a member of the Fulton-Farmer-Epiphany American Legion Auxiliary, Alexandria American Legion Auxiliary post, St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Altar Society and CCD teacher), PTA, National Association of Postmasters of the United States, the National League of Postmasters, and as a volunteer at Hanson Schools and the Sioux Falls Veteran’s Affairs Hospital.

Ruth married Alexandria-area farmer Edwin “Eddie” Pommer on April 27, 1973, at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Emery and later moved with her children still at home into Edwin’s farm home northwest of Alexandria. She later moved to Alexandria when Edwin retired. She remained in the community after Edwin passed away in January 2005.

Over her many years living in the Alexandria area, Ruth worked full time, and she had always been proud of the service nature of her career choices. She was especially proud that her children also chose careers serving others due to the values she instilled in them.

Despite the demands on her time of employment obligations, Ruth still found time to fully appreciate life, enjoying parties, card games, dances and other recreational diversions, with ice cream.

Devout in her Catholic faith, Ruth in recent years regularly donated her time and support to the sisters of the Carmelite Monastery in Alexandria. Ruth also regularly opened her home to pilgrims who came to visit the community’s Fatima Shrine.

But the primary focus of Ruth’s life was her endless loving attention to her large immediate family and her expansive — and continually expanding — extended family. She was the family’s beloved matriarch and the irresistible magnet for spirited annual family gatherings at Christmas (usually held on a day other than December 25 so everyone could attend), Thanksgiving and Easter. The crowded Christmas gatherings of family, spouses, children, grandchildren and friends, always involved a potluck of delicious traditional foods, including oyster stew, and presents for everyone from Ruth.

She had a well-known habit of extravagantly and playfully decorating her house for each season — winter, spring, summer and fall — as well as special days, like Valentine’s Day and Easter Sunday. She also loved to plant colorful flowers around her house in spring and summer.

Ruth was an endlessly curious, well-read person with a passion for learning new things and visiting new places. While well into her 70s, she traveled with her daughter Kate, and son-in-law Ron Aulner, to Saudi Arabia to visit daughter Pat and her husband, Rick Snedeker, who were living and working there. She also went on many bus trips all over the U.S.A.

Ruth is survived by her six children: Kate Aulner (Ron), Alexandria; Kenny Aylward (Candice Walters), Chancellor; Philip Aylward, Alexandria; Patricia Aylward (Rick Snedeker), Mitchell; Thomas Aylward (Linda), Arlington; and Teresa Christensen (Brian), Arlington, twelve grandchildren: Carol Aulner (Scott) Nicholson; Rich Aulner (Bobbie); Gregg (Malinda Young) Aulner; Natasha Aylward (Jeff Sundet); Heidi Aylward Oligmueller (Randy); Heather Aylward Wiese (Aric); Justin Aylward (Margaret); Jeremy Aylward (Andrea); Angie Aylward Gums; Aaron Aylward (Callie); Austin Aylward (Victoria Albrecht); and Brianne Christensen; 26 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren, and sister-in-law Peggy Aylward Kemp and brother-in-law Harvey Pommer.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, brothers John and Alvin, sisters Clara and Carolyn, and in-laws Warren Kemp, Ronelle Ludens, Eva Ludens and William and Julie Ollerich.

Condolences may be sent to PO Box 543 Alexandria SD 57311-0543.

Everyone is invited to join the family for a luncheon at the Parish Hall following the funeral mass, and refreshments at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, 305 West 1st, Lennox, SD 57039, following the graveside service.



Wednesday, February 20, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
7:00 PM Scripture Service

St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church
220 5th Street
Alexandria, SD 57311


Thursday, February 21, 2019
10:30 AM
St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church
220 5th Street
Alexandria, SD 57311


3:00 PM Graveside Service

Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Lennox, South Dakota

Posted by Judy Backlund Gohl on February 21, 2019
Ruth's name was one my mother mentioned often when she talked of the bus trips she and my dad had been on. I think that Eddie, Ruth, and my folks (Homer & Mildred Backlund) had many good times together on these journeys. I know that they would be sorry to hear that you have lost your mom, but I also think that they are probably all having many more wonderful journeys as they all join together again. God bless you as you mourn her loss, but also as you rejoice at her homegoing.
Posted by Cammy Weber on February 20, 2019
Ruth...what a purely beautiful Soul and THE best "Mrs. Claus" EVER at the Salen Post Office about 20 years ago when my kids had barelly started school. They loved Mrs. Claus! May the Souls of the Faithfully Departed Thrpugh the Mercy of God Rest in Peace. Anen. Love to you, Kate,, and family.
Posted by K. Hope on February 20, 2019
Our sympathies to the Pommer family on your loss. May the hope from God’s Word and your cherished memories comfort your hearts. Revelations 21:3,4.
Posted by Margie Streier on February 20, 2019
So sorry for your loss Praying for you and your family. Margie
Posted by Marlene warnke on February 19, 2019
So sorry to hear about Ruth. Wonderful lady, she will he missed by the entire community.
Posted by Betsy Lingbeck on February 19, 2019
So sorry to hear of your loss thinking of you all
Posted by Rickie Kunzweiler on February 19, 2019
Blessings Kate and family....such a beautiful tribute....she had the most beautiful smile.
Posted by Les & Shirley Rowen on February 19, 2019
You have our sympathy, glad I got to meet her
Posted by Diane schuchhardt on February 19, 2019
I'm so sorry to read this , I always enjoyed seeing your mom and having a good visit. Hugs and prayers to you all.
Posted by Brenda Royer on February 19, 2019
I am so sorry to read about your moms passing Tom and Linda , Teresa and Brian, and family.
Posted by Karen Falla on February 19, 2019
So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to the whole family.
Posted by Jon and Sherry Jacobs on February 19, 2019
So sorry Tom and Linda and family. She sounds as though she lived life to the fullest. Thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Jeri Mutziger on February 19, 2019
Sorry for your loss. I always remember Ruth with a smile on her face. And When my Mother lived in the apt. across from her it was always fun to see what Ruth had placed in her yard for decoration. May my sympathy be with you.
Posted by Joyce Folsom on February 19, 2019
Ruth was a wonderful caring person and will be missed by all. My sympathy to the family.
Posted by Marge wagner on February 19, 2019
She was a very loving and caring lady she will be missed by all you have my sympathy and prayers
Posted by Carm Roster on February 19, 2019
As you have stated in the above obit Ruth never let moss grow under her feet. I will always remember her boundless energy, giving heart, beautiful smile and the friendship she shared with our folks and our entire family. There are many great memories of Legion Events, card games at our house with other area couples (that we heard laughter float up to our room) and the joy reflected on her face when you happen to meet her on the street or shared events.

Prayers to her family as they face the days ahead. RIP Ruth we will miss you.
Posted by Marge Miller on February 19, 2019
So sorry to read of Ruth s passing. I did not know she was ill. Gods Blessings to all of you. With sympathy Marge and Mike
Sign Ruth Pommer's Guestbook
Your Name