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Ruth Anne Ellis


Ruth Anne Ellis, 89, peacefully went home to be with the Lord in the afternoon on Monday, June 5, 2023, surrounded by family in Tempe, Arizona. Ruth was born on September 13, 1933, in New Carlisle, Indiana to the late Claude & Matilda (Olds) Hartley. She was preceded in death by her husband Gene Ellis & her son, Steven Ellis. Also her sister, Lois Burnette, & brothers, William Hartley & Edward Hartley. She is survived by her children Susan (Wayne) Lavrack of NC, and Sharon (John) Casteel of AZ., 13 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren & many adoring nieces and nephews.

Ruth was a graduate of Mishawaka High School in 1951, where she was part of the journalism club. She also sang in the Sweet Adelines. She worked at Studebaker Automotive Company in the offices, but not for long as she soon went on a date with the love of her life. It was a set up, double date by her brother Edward who worked with Gene, but the other couple did not show, so they spent that evening alone & the rest is history. On November 26, 1952 she married Gene Ellis . In the last several years they lovingly referred to each other as their “sweetie”. Ruth & Gene had been married 64 years at the time of his passing. Ruth was an accomplished seamstress & ran a business out of the home, sewing people's clothing, lining suits, altering, hemming, she could do it all. She is most known for being the best “homemaker” there was. Raising her children with love & tender care. She was the most gentle, kind, gracious, sweet, genuine, nurturing, faithful & loving human one could ever meet, giving of herself & her time, also being known to be a great listener. She spent time gaining knowledge about what others were interested in, whether it be sports or other topics, so that she would have more things to talk to them about & relate to them with.

Ruth was most thankful for her decision in 1974 to accept her Lord as savior. She enjoyed studying her Bible & has countless notebooks of her word studies, expounding on scriptures & journaling about the word of God & her prayers. She was very instrumental in choosing the church in Tucson that the family spent many years at. She attended some Bible college courses with Gene to further her knowledge. She also volunteered, counseling & mentoring women & several girls came into our home, looking to Gene & Ruth as their “spiritual parents”, asking questions of them pertaining to all life's details, including choosing a good partner, mothering, taking care of a home, etc. She also was a pastor's wife for the years Gene went into the ministry, being a pastor himself.

Mom looked for ways to take care of dad in his health issues by investigating all sorts of natural options. Mom tried a myriad of different diets trying to help our family. She would often rub dad's feet to pull him out of an asthma attack. There were no lengths she wouldn't go to try to serve her family.

Among her hobbies, Ruth was an avid gardener & her yards were always known to be full of thriving & beautiful roses, flowers, plants & other bushes. She loved all things roses in the house as well, from comforters to accents & décor. She was an avid reader, loving & enjoying reading books, including Christian romance novels. She also had multiple bird feeders, feeding & watching them. Although she wasn't sewing clothes anymore, her sewing expanded to needlepoint & other types; she learned quilting as well, gifting each of her children with a home made quilt. She loved to take pictures & was always behind the camera; she seemed to be the memory keeper for us all. She was excellent at word games of course, & we spent countless times around the table playing cards.

Sadly, mom had a battle with Alzheimer's Disease for the past several years. She always remained her kind, gentle & sweet self, often catching us off guard by her quick wit humor, making us laugh, but most beautifully complimenting many who came into the room, family & caregivers, telling them how beautiful or how handsome they were. She was still making everybody's day responding with her smiles & telling people she loved them much of the time. We will miss her voice, holding her hand and her hugs, but we know she is no longer in pain & worshipping her Lord, joining again with her sweetie. She was such a gift from God & we are honored that she was our mother. She lived life full and well, a faithful wife, mother & dedicated grandma…..you have left a legacy here on earth that will last forever.

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