EUREKA - Ruth Fern Harnish 90, died peacefully around 7:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017.
She was born April 16, 1927, in Harrisonburg, Va., the daughter of Perry and Annie Wenger Martin. She married the Rev. Robert Harnish on June 9, 1951, in Harrisonburg. He survives.
Other survivors include three sons, Robert (Carol) Harnish, Colorado Springs, Colo., Rick (Annette) Harnish, Flanagan and Stephen (Monica) Harnish, Bluffton, Ohio; two daughters, Suzanne (Joe) Gerber, Rio Rico, Ariz., and Mary (Nick) Rush, Afton, Va.; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two sisters, Virginia Derstine and Margaret (John) Weaver, both of Harrisonburg, and one brother, John Martin, Harrisonburg.
She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister and four brothers.
Ruth attended Goshen (Ind.) College in 1947 and graduated from the La Junta (Colo.) Mennonite School of Nursing and became a registered nurse in 1951. After her marriage, she served along with her husband the next 22 years in the ministry at Highway Village Mennonite Church in East Peoria. Ruth’s life was busy working in the church, the community and home. She was a homemaker, raised her children and helped in the church as a pastor's wife. Later, she worked as a nurse at Good Samaritan Home in Flanagan and Maple Lawn Homes in Eureka, where she served as a chaplain. Ruth loved sewing, the garden and raising flowers, especially roses. She had a passion for studying family genealogy and gathering family stories. There was a special place in her heart for children. Even late into life as memory faded, she would light up with a big smile and bright eyes on seeing a baby or young child. Throughout her life, Ruth strove to be, in her own words, a "kind and loving person." Even when she could no longer communicate verbally she would communicate with her smile. People often then said, "Ruth, you made my day." She trusted and loved Jesus and was grateful for His immeasurable love and grace and for her privilege of helping to make Him known. She was a member of Roanoke Mennonite Church, rural Eureka.
Services will be held Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. at the church with Pastors Bryan Miller and Alice Kennell officiating. Visitation will take place Dec. 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. and Dec. 16 from 10 to 11 a.m., both at the church. A graveside service will be held Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. in the church cemetery. Argo-Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home, Eureka, is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the church or to the Mennonite Central Committee.