She was born Sept. 12, 1951, in Wahoo to George W. and Rosemary C. (Arp) Ruzicka. She graduated from Bishop Neumann High School in 1969. She attended Grinnell College in Iowa, graduating with a degree in sociology. From 1973-1989, she worked for LT & T in Lincoln. Following that, she attained her law degree at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and became self employed as an attorney.