Ruth had always wanted to be a teacher and had an insatiable thirst for learning. Shortly after graduation she became certified by taking a teacher exam and attending 15 weeks of schooling at Central Missouri State Teacher's College in Warrensburg, Mo. She was hired immediately to teach grades 1-8 by her own one-room elementary school for four years until its close. Ruth continued taking college classes and earned her bachelor's degree in education in 1975 at the age of 52. She taught for nine years in Roscoe, Mo., and 14 years at Hudson, until her retirement in 1990. She continued teaching a few hours each day at Hudson for three more years.
Ruth and Van knew each other from youth and were united in marriage on Jan. 4, 1943, in Osceola, Mo. Their love for each other was deep and abiding. To this union four daughters were born. From 1943-1945 Van served in the United States Army. Following his discharge and return to the States, he and Ruth began family life together raising dairy and beef cattle on a farm in the Mt. Zion community east of Rockville, Mo. In 1973, they moved to Appleton City, Mo. They were faithful members of the Trinity United Methodist Church, serving on committees and wherever they were needed.
Ruth was very selfless and compassionate, putting other's needs first. She enjoyed caring for her family by cooking, sewing and gardening. She had a deep faith in her Savior Jesus Christ and it was important to her to share that with her family. She was extremely proud of her family and you could see the intense joy they all brought to her. She felt truly blessed and content.
Preceding Ruth in death was Van, her husband of 64 years; her parents; and one brother, Ray Tandy. Survivors include her four daughters and their husbands, Sandra and Bill Long, Appleton City, Mo., Linda "Skip" and Jack Mead, Nevada, Betty and Gerald Stephan, rural Montrose, Mo., and Debbie and Dean Walker, Nevada; grandchildren, Jeff and Kate Long, Mark and Misty Long, Doug and Jen Mead, Darren and Amy Mead, Matt and Jessica Stephan, Erin and Chad Vogel, Adam and Alisha Walker, Emily and Andy Hayes, and Ben Walker; great-grandchildren, Jenna, Kyle and Peyton Long, Jarrett and Jace Long, Katie and Kylie Mead, Gracie and Lane Mead, Coy and Lila Stephan, Mason and Abigayle Vogel, Graham Walker, and Walker and Morgan Hayes; a sister, Opal Lovewell, Osceola, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews and friends.
Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 24, under the direction of Hill and Son Funeral Home, Appleton City, Mo., with the Rev. Ron Benton officiating. Casket bearers were her grandsons.