Ruth and Don Johnsen both attended Chicago schools before their marriage. When their last child started school Ruth began reporting for the Aurora-Beacon-News in Aurora, Illinois. During the Civil Rights movement she worked as Housing Counselor for the Office of Equal Opportunity in her area.. At the beginning of WW II Don cut short his schooling at the Illinois Institute of Technology and joined the Navy Air Force. Following that war he served as a pilot in the Naval Reserve for 26 years. After their retirement the couple traveled to 29 countries, often visiting missionaries along the way. At the time of his death in 2011 they had been married for 67 years.