Ruth Merritt Kirkley of Magnolia, Arkansas, formerly of Springhill, quietly passed away on the evening of May 29, 2012. She was 89 years old.
Ruth was born the youngest of five children to George G. Merritt and Georgia Martin Merritt on July 23, 1922, in Evergreen. She was predeceased by by her parents and her siblings, Burnice Merritt, Grady Merritt, Lucille Merritt Keen and Sallie Merritt Keen.
She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of almost 67 years, F.M. Kirkley; their three children, Randy Kirkley (Brenda) of Camden, Arkansas, Suzonne Kirkley Evans (David) of Mansfield, Texas and Ginger Kirkley McConnell (Cecil) of Magnolia, Arkansas; her grandchildren who affectionately called her "Mimi," Michelle Kirkley Hopkins, Chad Kirkley, Trey Evans, Jason McConnell and Kirk McConnell; and her nine great-grandchildren.
Her gentle ways and kind hospitality will be missed by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
She graduated as valedictorian from Evergreen High School in 1940. Ruth then attended Meadows-Draughon Business College in Shreveport.
Ruth was employed at the Louisiana Ordinance Plant during World War II, then as secretary of Howell Elementary in Springhill and later served as secretary of the Springhill United Methodist Church.
Throughout their marriage, Ruth and F.M. enjoyed many activities and traveled extensively. They visited all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. They also enjoyed riding their bicycle built for two. Over the course of four decades, they rode thousands of miles - always together.
Though petite in physical stature, Ruth could work wonders in a kitchen, and cooking was one of her favorite pastimes. She was famous for her chocolate pie and chocolate cake. She also enjoyed gardening, particularly watching her beautiful zinnias, Confederate roses and azaleas bloom, as well as sewing and crocheting.
Above all else, Ruth always enjoyed spending time with her family. She was a wonderful, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She continually exercised her strong love and devotion to all of her family.
The family would like to extend a word of thanks to Dr. Jason Franks and staff; especially J.P. Mobley, APN and all the kind nurses at the John R. Williamson Hospice House, for the compassion and wonderful care they extended to Ruth.
Arrangements are being handled by Bailey Funeral Home in Springhill. Visitation will be held today (Thursday, May 31) at Bailey Funeral Home from 6 until 8 p.m
Graveside service will be on Friday, June 1 at 10 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, north of Minden. A memorial service celebrating Ruth's life will be held on Friday, June 1 at Springhill United Methodist Church at 2 p.m.
Ruth was a member of First United Methodist Church of Magnolia, Arkansas and was formerly a member of Springhill United Methodist Church in Springhill.
The family asks that anyone wishing to make memorials in Ruth's memory, please direct such memorials to either church or John R. Williamson Hospice House, El Dorado, Arkansas.
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