Ruth Jeanette (Franklin) Hays, 94, was born in Kansas City, Kansas. Born prematurely, and weighing
a few mere pounds at birth, her survival was in question; ironically, she outlived all of her siblings and cousins of her generation.
Ruth’s family initially lived in Livonia, Missouri , but she grew up in Glenwood, Missouri. She attended
Glenwood Elementary, graduated from Lancaster High School, and later from Gem City Business College in Quincy, Illinois.
In 1946, she married returning army veteran, Harold Hays of Lancaster, Missouri. They had two sons,
Jack and Bill. The young family had to move to Arizona due to Ruth’s health, where she lived for 60 years. After her husband’s death, she returned to Missouri to care for her younger brother, Jim (Spider) Franklin. Seven years ago, she returned to Arizona to be closer to her son, Bill, and his family.
Ruth’s education and skills in typing and bookkeeping led her from a finance clerk to a Certified Public Accountant, a Paymaster for Williams Air Force Base (where she received numerous awards for error free yearly reviews), and head bookkeeper for a US Water Lab. After her second retirement, she sold Tupperware, and then became a realtor. After her husband’s death, she returned to Missouri from Arizona and became a Methodist Minister. After she aged out of her ministerial position, Ruth became a hospice nurse and Chaplain.
Music played a huge role in her life. As a teen, she earned money by singing for funerals and weddings and singing on the radio. She sang in church choirs all of her life, and in a Sweet Adeline Ensemble later in life.
Ruth was also extremely athletic; she played softball and basketball in high school (and during the war, on both the girls’ and boys’ teams) and earned an athletic scholarship to college. She continued to play softball on local teams, until she was in her late 70s.
Ruth was a notable storyteller and writer, being a published author of sheet music, a book, and several magazine articles, as well a fountain of nighttime “Pappo” stories about her youth.
She was preceded in death by most of her generation’s relatives, her husband and her older son, Jack Hays. Ruth was survived by her younger son, Bill Hays (Ruthann); two grandsons, Chris Hays and Bryan Hays (Jamie) ; four great-grandchildren, Peter, Brooke, Heath, & Caroline; Jack’s widow, Barbara Holmes; and several nieces, nephews, and their children.
God was foremost in Ruth’s life. Knowing the Bible, teaching, and doing Christian works were key to her existence. She was always an active member of her churches, where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choirs, and finally ministered in the Queen City Methodist Church in Queen City, Missouri. Until the COVID situation, she was an active member of Westside Christian Church in Prescott, Arizona.