Ruth F. (Cunningham) Clarke

October 19, 1927 ~ February 14, 2021 (age 93)


Ruth F. Clarke, 93, died Sunday February 14 at First Community Village in Columbus, Ohio. She was born October 19, 1927 in Wilkes-Barre, PA to the late William F. and Margaret C. (Shea) Cunningham. She is preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Professor John J. Clarke, and sisters Margaret “Peggy” (Louis) Kratz and Kathryn “Kay” (Clifford) Troup. She is survived by three daughters: Mary Ruth, Chicago: Johannah, Columbus, Ohio and her husband Steven P. Wood, and their two children, Erin and Brian: and Colleen, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and her husband, Phillip F. Michels, and their four children Brigid, Kevin, Aidan, and Deidre. If there was one word that best describes Ruth, it would be considerate. She was quick to ask about her children and grandchildren, and always had a friendly wave and smile. She faced her later years with humor and humility, and maintained her Irish charm to the end. Many complimented her on her remarkably beautiful hair, to which she always responded, “I got that from my Father.” She loved her church, her rosary, the ocean, and her Irish heritage. She was the ultimate family gathering organizer. On holidays she was up at 5 am to “stuff the bird.” And no one made meatballs like Ruth. Ruth was a private person. She was modest. She was a woman of her time – a wife, a mother. She loved her cat Smit. In the end, Ruth wanted very little – a cup of tea, a rosary, anything pewter, and an Irish song. All have benefitted from Ruth’s generosity, her humor, and her love.  Due to COVID restrictions, a mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Andrew’s Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA at a later date.

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