Ruth A. Lytton, age 84 of Madison, Wisconsin passed away after a short illness on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at the Four Winds Nursing Home in Verona, Wisconsin.
Ruth’s cremains will be buried with her shepherds in her father’s plot at Spring Grove Cemetery in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Reverend David Bauman of the Living Hope Church in Baraboo, Wisconsin officiating.
Like her maiden name suggests she was a keeper of the Garden, literally and symbolically. Ruth (Garden) Lytton was brought up in a Christian family along the Wisconsin River near the Dells where she was imbued with the spirit of St. Francis. She strove to protect and nurture all living things, human, flora, and fauna. Living alone the last half of life her special companions were a series of seven German Shepherds and three Bichon Frise.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 12, 1929, the only child of Walter “Waldo” and Grace (Jordan) Garden. The family moved to Wisconsin where they owned and operated a tourist camp. The Wisconsin River and the ecological niche that surrounded the family business were her profound teachers. After high school Ruth moved to Madison, first as a health insurance claims analyst and later as secretary for the Department of Counseling at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She married UW Professor Amos Howard Lytton, Jr. in Fond du Lac on May 27, 1967. Amos passed away in 1973. Both of Ruth’s parents were deceased within 3 years of Amos.
After 31 years of service, Ruth retired in 1994 to her small house and garden in Madison. She lived an independent and deeply spiritual life until her final illness. To those who befriended her she was a loving and holy presence. Her neighborhood will miss seeing the tiny, white-haired presence tending her garden. Ruth’s inner belief system can best be described in her own words. “Jesus is truly at my side, ready to step in front of me, to laugh and smile with me, to hurt with me, to hear me (maybe with a lifted brow), to smile when I pray the prayers HE knew I would pray…She is deeply missed by those she touched.