Ruth E. Craig was born July 25, 1930, at Olivet, Ill., the sixth of eight children, six brothers and one sister, to the Rev. Lester and the Rev. Mrs. Delona Smith. After a considerable time of illness Ruth went to be with Jesus, members of her family, and many friends on Friday, Feb. 17, 2006.
She is survived by her husband, the Rev. Carl Craig, of the home; two sons, Carl Craig II of St. Joseph, Mo., Berry Craig of Moundridge, Kan.; one daughter Annette Craig, of Independence, Kan.; two brothers, Dr. Joseph Smith of Swanton, Md., and the Rev. Samuel Smith of Falls Church, Va.; two grandsons in military service; three granddaughters; an honorary son, James Lyen of Kansas City, Mo., and a host of beloved nieces and nephews. Family was extremely important to Ruth; she gave her whole heart to them.
Ruth's heritage stems from historic Cowpens, S.C., and a family line of mostly professional people who cared deeply for others. Ruth's life, work, and influence reflect these kinds of Christian values.
She attended Mary Washington College and the University of Virginia receiving a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1950, and began her teaching career in her hometown of Newport News, Va. On July 9, 1953, she married Carl Craig of Meade, Kan. This coming July they would have celebrated 53 years together.
Ruth continued teaching in the public schools of Oklahoma and Kansas for a total of 23 years and substituting regularly in Nevada, for 16 years.
She was a long-time member of Delta Kappa Gamma, DAR and served 18 years as a Salvation Army board member and bell ringer, served approximately 20 years as Womens Ministries Director for the Joplin District Church of the Nazarene, served approximately 20 years as a member of the Joplin District Nazarene Missions International council. Wherever Ruth resided prior to her husband's retirement, she always worked with children in the church and taught young adults Sunday school.
After retirement and moving to Independence, she volunteered at the Pregnancy Care Center, sang in the Music Club choir, and continued to be involved with the local church NMI.
Ruth loved people, she cared deeply for those who suffered in any way. She enjoyed life, always had a story or joke to tell. She shared her heart with others. God gave her the gift of touching the lives of a multitude of people.
Funeral services for Ruth will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Independence Church of the Nazarene with the Rev. Leon Hendrix officiating. Burial will follow in the Mount Hope Cemetery under the direction of the Potts Chapel in Independence, Kan.
Visitation hours will be held from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22, with the family receiving friends from 6-8:30 p.m., at the Potts Chapel in Independence.
The family has suggested memorials to the Independence Church of the Nazarene and contributions may be left at the Potts Chapel.