On the morning of Nov. 12, 2016, a remarkable woman passed from this world to be with her Lord and Savior. She wasn't rich or famous -- she wasn't even five feet tall, but her generosity and concern for others made her a giant. No living creature went hungry when she was around -- she even fed the ants! Her name was Ruth.
Ruth Laverne Shetley was born Aug. 1, 1926, in Illmo (now Scott City), Missouri, to Henry Franklin Shetley and Esther Pauline (Wolff) Shetley.
The family moved to Oakland, Calif., when she was three because her father was transferred. He was a steward in the dining cars for the Fred Harvey Company on the Union Pacific Railroad. After about a year the collapse of the economy resulted in Frank losing his job, so they returned to Missouri.
Her parents found work in St. Louis so she and her older brother Norman lived with their grandparents Grant and Elizabeth Wolff in Illmo. As she always said, "We were poor but didn't know it because everyone else was too."
In 1939, the family moved to Olathe hoping the dry climate would improve Esther's health. Ruth attended Olathe schools, graduating in 1944.
She went to work as a bookkeeper/telegraph operator for Burns and Bay Warehouse, a produce wholesaler that shipped potatoes, onions, and pinto beans to feed the troops.
She married Horace Anderson in Olathe on Dec. 30, 1945.
They had two children while living in Olathe, but Ruth continued to work part-time as a bookkeeper for the Hiway Garage.
In 1958 Horace, Ruth, Joyce, and Gary moved to Delta. Ruth kept books part-time for a laundry, along with keeping the household running, gardening, canning, working in the church, and helping friends and neighbors. Debra was born in 1962, and in January of 1964 they moved into the home where she lived the rest of her life.
She was known for the tomatoes she grew and canned, her dilly beans, chicken and dumplings, and her legendary fried chicken. She enjoyed gardening and reading a good mystery, but her greatest joy was her family and caring for them. Words cannot describe how much we will miss her.
Ruth joined the Baptist Church as a child and has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Delta since 1958. She taught Sunday school, served on the Social Committee and Flower Committee, and volunteered to help elderly members with housework, shopping, and transportation.
Welcoming her to Heaven are numerous relatives and friends who have gone before, including her husband of almost 65 years Horace, her son Gary, special sister-in-law Roberta, nephew Bruce, and great-nieces Erica and Angie.
Those left to mourn include her daughters Joyce and Debbie, brother Norman, and brother-in-law Robert all of Delta. Also surviving are her cherished granddaughters Elissa (Josh) Nye and Julia (Dan) Donohoue and adored great-grandsons Beau and Wiley Nye and Rylan and Nolan Donohoue all of Rifle. Her beloved nephews Randy (Vickey) Shetley of Delta and Mark (Joe) Shetley of Palm Springs, California, also survive along with several nieces and nephews-by-marriage, her former daughter-in-law Lark Lawson (Terry Halbert) of New Castle, and many dear friends Ruth regarded as family. Also missing her are the family dogs Kyrie and Fritz, the cats, and all the birds she fed.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 11 at the First Baptist Church of Delta.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, 1250 Pioneer Road or HopeWest, PO Box 24, both in Delta.
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Now she can rest.