Ruth A. “Nana” Bower, of Taylorville, passed away on October 3, 2021 in Springfield.


Ruth was born on September 11, 1932 to Howard D. and Armeada M. (Roach) Birdsell in Jacksonville. She moved to Taylorville with her family while in 3rd grade. She attended the Taylorville schools, graduating from Taylorville High School with the class of 1951. She married Leo T. Swiney on December 1, 1951. They had three children and later divorced. On November 29, 1975 she married, “The Love of Her Life”, William H. “Bill” Bower in Frankfort, IN. Bill passed away in Frankfort, IN on June 4, 1994.


Ruth moved back to Taylorville in 1998 to be closer to her family. She was employed by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture – Christian Co. ASCS in Taylorville for 24 years, and with Clinton County Bank & Trust Co. in Frankfort, IN for 14 years. Ruth always felt very fortunate to have held two different careers in public service of which she enjoyed to the fullest. She thought she was so fortunate to have been able to serve so many wonderful people and make so many new friends in these two positions.


Ruth was an active member of Taylorville First United Methodist Church, serving as Chairperson on many committees, the President-Coordinator for Ansarettes (a Shrine widow’s organization), and delighted in reuniting the THS Class of 1951 with a tri-monthly newsletter along with bi-monthly class luncheons and many class reunions.


Ruth had a very blessed life with Bill, with their strong support of Purdue University, as well as traveling with the Purdue basketball teams. They also worked together at the Indiana 500 races, and the Indianapolis Colts football games, as well as being a very loving Nana and Grandpa Bill to their grandchildren.


She had many interests in life which included, reading, sewing, various crafts, floral arranging, working in her yard, and watching hummingbirds and butterflies. Ruth delighted in assisting or volunteering often, wherever she felt needed with her church and many friends. She enjoyed sending and receiving, by mail, many cards, notes, and letters. Ruth believed and reminded many that age is a figure only, and not something that has to define life as it was given us to enjoy, as well as help others not so fortunate. She believed in the following: “Enjoy each day life gives you, it may be your last” and “Loving Memories are Forever.”


Ruth is survived by her daughter, Diane G. Swiney-Lewis of Taylorville; sons, Steven T. (Angie) Swiney of Woodstock, and Randale N. Swiney of Hayden, ID; granddaughters, Courtney L. (Adam Turner) Lewis of Modesto, Shaunessy D. Lewis of Springfield, and Megan R. Lewis of Virden; grandson, Zackery W. Swiney of Taylorville; great granddaughters, Antonio E. Turner, Delaney J. Turner, both of Modesto, Daivany D. Hogan of Virden, and Mikaela D. Swiney of Taylorville; great grandsons, Jayden D. Turner of Modesto, and Zackery H. Swiney and Liam Swiney, both of Taylorville; Sister-in-law, Sandy Fabbri-Birdsell of Springfield; along with several nieces, nephews, and cousins.


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bill; brother, Cullen E. Birdsell; and extra special aunts, Lula Souza Duerst, Cordelia Birdsell, and Irene Hopper.


In accordance with Ruth’s wishes, private funeral ceremonies were held.


Memorial contributions may be made to: First United Methodist Church, 200 S. Walnut Street, Taylorville, IL 62568, or St. Louis Shriner’s Hospital for Children c/o Shrine Center, 630 S. 6th Street, Springfield, IL 62705.


The family has entrusted Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home with ceremonies.


Please visit to share memories of Ruth, or offer condolences to her family.

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