Ruth Hahn Peters was born Hahn Heung Bok (한흥복) in Songdo, Korea (modern-day Kaesong, North Korea) to Hahn Do Soo and Whang Soon Oke. Ruth Peters' father was the first Christian in their family.
As a child Ruth attended Holston Institute (호수돈) for girls in Songdo and later attended Ewha College (이화) in Seoul. After graduation from college, she worked for a Southern Methodist missionary, Marjorie Beaird. It was during her work with Marjorie that she came in closer contact with Southern Methodist missionary, Victor Wellington Peters, who was to become her husband in 1938. They had met first when VW was briefly assigned in Songdo. Their marriage in 1938 was the first marriage between a male missionary and a Korea ever. They enjoyed 61 years of marriage before her death in 1999.
Both Ruth and Victor left Korea in 1941 and intended to return for missionary service. However, they only returned once (in 1976) due to the advent of WWII, sickness (tuberculosis), the Korean War and raising a family. Her mother, one brother and his family perished during the Korean War. Five family members are still living in Korea.
Ruth was a talented singer, painter, poetess, church/youth worker and evangelist. She spent her years in the United States working for various Christian organizations and churches. She was the mother of five children. Their first child died by miscarriage in Kimwha, Korea and is buried on a hillside there. The other four children are still living as of 2020 and are active in evangelical churches.
Hahn Heung Bok upon graduation from Ewha College (Ewha University)