Ruth Irene Ijams

Friday, November 18, 2022

Ruth Irene Ijams, 90, Schell City, Mo., passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, at the Butler Center for Rehabilitation. Ruth was born April 16, 1932, in Cole Camp, Mo., to Albert H.W. and Ruby P. (Rohning) Harms.

Ruth came to Schell City at a young age when her family moved to a farm near Schell City. She attended Schell City High School and graduated with the Class of 1951. Ruth was a basketball standout in high school setting the state record of 85 points scored in a game. This record still stands today. She later played for the All-American Redheads, one of the first women professional basketball teams, they also played against the Harlem Globe Trotters.

Ruth lived in Kansas City for a time then she and her husband came back to Schell City in 1959. She began working at the Nevada City Hospital where she retired following 39 years of employment. Ruth then worked for an additional 10 years at “Challenge and Change” in Nevada.

A longtime member of the United Methodist Church in Schell City until its closing, she then attended the Schell City Christian Church. Ruth was a member of the O.E.S.

Survivors include four children, Joseph O’Brien, Copperas Cove, Texas, Jeanie O’Brien, Schell City, Peggy O’Brien, Schell City, and David O’Brien (Donna Fassett), Montgomery, Texas; grandchildren, Audra Weber, Andrew O’Brien, Ashley O’Brien, Donnie Lewis, John Lewis, Brandon Huckaby, Sabrina Hunt, Patricia Hall, Douglas Highlander, and Crystal Woody; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Mary O’Brien Henderson; and a granddaughter, Jennifer Lewis. She was also preceded by nine brothers, Virgil Harms, Henry Harms, Joseph Harms, Earl Harms, Gerald Harms, Gene Harms, Albert Harms Jr., and two infant brothers.

Graveside services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 21, at Green Lawn Cemetery, in Schell City, with Pastor Steve Highlander officiating. The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Schell City Community Building following the service.

Memorials are suggested in her name to Heartland Hospice in care of Ferry Funeral Home, in Nevada.

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