JOHN EARL RUTH
John Earl Ruth, age 89, of Jefferson City, MO passed away peacefully Wednesday, October 11, 2023, at home surrounded by his family.
John was born on April 24, 1934, in Downing, MO, a son of John Raymond and Millie Pernie (Wheeler) Ruth.
Born and raised on his family farm in Schuyler County, John developed a strong work ethic from a young age. He actively supported his parents in helping on the farm and running their country store in a small community south of Downing. It was during this time when his fascination with working on vehicles and engines began to flourish. He also enjoyed playing basketball in high school and was a 1952 graduate of Downing High School.
While growing up in Downing, MO, he met the love of his life, Lois Marie Jones. They dated throughout high school and were married in Downing on May 23, 1954. John loved Lois fiercely and they were blessed with 69 years of marriage.
John would continue his education at DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago and obtained his certificate in electronics. He enjoyed learning about electronics and was blessed with a natural ability to understand them and could fix practically anything. After his graduation, John worked in Ottumwa, IA and opened his own television repair shop in Downing before moving to Fort Worth, TX where he worked at Montgomery Ward in their television service and repair department.
In 1958, he made Jefferson City his home and soon embarked on a remarkable journey with IBM as a service technician. For over three decades, he dedicated his life to the company, retiring in 1991, although he would be hired by IBM as a consultant for several years after his retirement. Throughout his IBM career he was often selected to attend training courses as both an instructor and student on new equipment introduced by IBM which took him to extended stays in Lexington, KY, Boulder, CO, Austin, TX and Paris, France.
John possessed a strong faith and was a charter member of Community Christian Church. He was selected to be on the site selection committee for the new church and worked tirelessly during the early years of starting the church. Throughout the years he would serve as both an elder and deacon. Lois and John participated in a mission trip to Nicaragua in 2001.
Family was consistently his top priority, and he devoted an incredible amount of time and energy to support his wife, children, and grandchildren. He seldom missed a family event and was a constant source of inspiration for them. He cherished their annual family trips when the children were young, embarking on long road trips through the western states and camping along the way. Later, he and Lois took numerous trips to various European countries and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska during which he created cherished memories. In retirement he often took an annual walleye fishing trip to Minnesota and enjoyed hunting on his farm in Schuyler County.
John will be fondly remembered for his gentle and kind soul, his unwavering integrity in handling all situations, and for being a truly exceptional role model for his family and friends.
Survivors include: his loving wife, Lois Ruth; three children, Rita R. Starnes, John A. Ruth (Jeanne) and Mitch Ruth (Vicky), all of Jefferson City, Mo.; one brother, Irley G. Ruth (Maxine) of Downing, Mo.; one sister, Pernie R. Smith of Wasilla, Alaska; sisters-in-law Karen Phelan (Barney), Joyce Rice (Dale) and Shirley Ruth; six grandchildren, Ryan Starnes (Anita), Brent Starnes (Arie), John Ruth (Kasey), Travis Ruth (Monica), Caleb Ruth (Chelsey) and Katie Ruth; three step-grandchildren, Erin Naeger, Katherine Reed (Jamie) and Mary Mabery (Zach); 13 great-grandchildren, Camille Starnes, Isabella Starnes, Victoria Starnes, Cora Starnes, Kinley Ruth, Kamdyn Ruth, Kylin Ruth, Easton Ruth, Maddox Ruth, Thatcher Ruth, June Ruth, Ellis Ruth and Louie Fay Ruth; and five step-great-grandchildren, Beau, Jake and Anna Reed and Molly and Mark Mabery; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Ross William and Reba Alice Jones; daughter-in-law, Michelle L. Ruth; son-in-law, Craig A. Starnes; two brothers, Avon L. Ruth and his wife, Jeanne and Ivan L. Ruth and his wife, Ilene.
Visitation will be held at Community Christian Church from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Friday, October 20, 2023.
Funeral services will be conducted at 4:00 p.m. Friday, October 20, 2023, at Community Christian Church with the Reverend Craig Kirby- Grove officiating. Private graveside services and interment will be held at Riverview Cemetery.
Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the Community Christian Church, 409 Ellis Blvd., Jefferson City, Mo. 65101.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary.