The Ottumwa Courier


May 12, 2014

Ruth Sterling

HEDRICK — A. Ruth Sterling, 95, formerly of Hedrick, passed away at 2:40 a.m. May 12, 2014, at Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa.

Ruth was born November 29, 1918, in rural Ottumwa to Roy and Ethel Spurgeon Harter.

After graduating from Fremont High School, Ruth went to cosmetology school and opened a beauty shop in Hedrick before her marriage. She was united in marriage to Leslie “Kelly” Sterling on September 25, 1943. He preceded her in death on January 17, 1981. Ruth and Kelly lived on the family farm where Ruth lived for 70 years. After their marriage, Ruth operated Ruth’s Beauty Shop in her home.

A member of the Farson Baptist Church, Ruth was both a longtime Sunday school teacher as well as church treasurer. Serving as a volunteer for 30 years, Ruth was a 4-H leader and member of the county committee. She was the editor of the Hedrick Area History Book in 1982 and the Wapello County History book in 1986. Demonstrating her chair caning skills, Ruth could be found at various local celebrations and fairs.

Surviving are her daughters, Linda Sterling and Louise (Frank) Blaine both of Hedrick; three granddaughters, Brenda (Brent) Swearingen, Bonnie (Orie) Johnson and Brooke (Weylin) Brown; six great-grandchildren, Wes (Kristen) Johnson, Wyatt Johnson, Whitney Johnson, Ashton Brown, Brianna Brown and Cylus Brown; a great-great-grandson, Bayne Johnson; two sisters, Mary Faye (Merle) Clingman and Margi Holliman as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Kenneth Harter and Lynn Harter; two sisters-in-law, Gladys Harter and Ruby Harter; a brother-in-law, Bill Holliman.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Bill Hornback officiating. Burial will be in the Competine Cemetery.

Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Memorials may be made to the Farson Baptist Church.

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