Ruth's Story

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Ruth Ellen Murden, 100, of West Terre Haute, passed away peacefully at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in Clinton Gardens at Clinton, Indiana. She was born in St. Mary Of The Woods, Indiana, to Lee Roy Smith and Madge Ruth Rodgers Smith, on March 27, 1917, and raised on the family farm with her sisters, Rosemary and Caryl; and a cousin, James Lowell Jenkins.
Ruth graduated from Concannon High School in 1934 and attended Indiana State Teachers College. She also attended Ivy Tech for her secretarial credentials. She worked for the Vigo County School Corp. as a school secretary at Concannon School and West Vigo Middle School from 1961 until her retirement in 1982.
Ruth married Andrew Jerome Murden on Nov. 19, 1935. They had two children, Curtis and Barbara. Ruth and Andy were together until his death on April 23, 1988. She lived in the same house on Riggy Avenue in West Terre Haute from 1944 until 2012, when she was 95 years old and moved into assisted living.
Ruth enjoyed reading, writing poetry, working crossword puzzles, sewing and cooking. She was a true homemaker and a doting mother, as well as a longtime Chicago Cubs fan.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew; parents, Lee Roy and Madge Ruth Smith; sisters, Anna Jane Smith, as an infant, and Rosemary Davidson; sisters-in-law, Edith Newburn and Ann Murden; and brothers-in-law, Wayne Newburn, Theodore Davidson, George Okamoto, Elmer Murden, Murray Murden and Calvin Murden; and nephew, Kelly George Okamoto.
Ruth is survived by her children, Barbara Shewmaker (Eugene) and Curtis Murden (Jean); grandchildren, Jim Shewmaker (Lauri), Mark Shewmaker (Hope) and Amy Wollowski (Michael); and great-grandchildren, Seth Shewmaker, Emma Wollowski and Tristan Wollowski.
She is also survived by her sister, Caryl Okamoto of St. John, Indiana; nieces, RosaLee Weir, Nancy Davidson, Mary Jane Gorupic, Carol Irwin (Joe), Jill Okamoto Filingeri and Erin Okamoto Protsman (Robert); and nephews, Fred Newburn (Marcie), Tracy Okamoto (Leah) and Sean Okamoto; as well as many great-nieces and great-nephews; and longtime friends, Lena Bird and Anna Williams.
The family wants to thank Clinton Gardens for the loving care Ruth received during her stay there. Special thanks to Jamie Bigger, who was a special caregiver to Ruth.
Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, in Bethesda Cemetery at the family plot, with Pastor Joseph Irwin officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the charity of donor's choice. A celebration of life and reception will immediately follow the services at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 6076 U.S. Hwy. 150, West Terre Haute, Indiana. Care and arrangements have been entrusted to Fitzpatrick Funeral Home.
Published on May 6, 2017
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