On March 4, 2016 Ruth Yeats died of cancer of the bile duct. Ten days from looking not-herself to death did not give us enough time to take in what was happening. She had been carrying this cancer in her much longer than we knew. Mom accepted her imminent death with grace and peace, and was surrounded by her family when she died.

Mom was a caring listener, a woman who remembered what you told her and asked you about it later. In the past 10 months we have been told story after story of the ways in which she worked in the background – never out front – to care for strangers and friends alike. Mom never let on to us all the notes she wrote, the calls she made, the people she stopped in church to ask how they were. It was at her memorial service that so many people told us stories of how they were touched by Ruth, how much they will miss her smile, her welcome, her compassion and interest.

Ruth loved God, time with her family, and music. She enjoyed reading, watching Downton Abbey, period movies, and cooking shows. Mom was happiest when she was entertaining friends and family in her home. She took great pleasure in trying new recipes. She was a woman of faith and put her faith into action. After she retired, Ruth volunteered at many different organizations. Whether at her job, volunteering, or church, Mom reached out to others offering compassion, acceptance, a non-judgmental ear.

The best tribute we, her husband, daughters, granddaughters, can give Ruth is to imitate her life of love, encouragement, and kindness. In these days of so much pain and loss we need more Ruth’s in our lives. We miss you, Ruth-Mom-Grandma, and love you so very much!