In memory of
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In memory of
On Sunday, October 16, 2016, our beloved Ruth Etoile Ruark (Burkhalter) was called home to her father in heaven. Ruth was born in 1925, in Tennessee during the "Great Depression". She was born from the union of Frank Burkhalter, a widower with three older children, and Lula Roebuck, a widow with four older children. Ruth's parents met in Kerrvile, TX, thanks to the founders of HEB grocery stores, Florence and Howard, who were family friends that helped "set them up" together. Ruth was Frank and Lula's only child and she was the miracle that bound an entire family together. Ruth graduated from Central High School in Tennessee, and then attended the College of Beauty Culture in Nashville, TN. She also worked at a local newspaper during World War II as a copy girl, and later doing various jobs such as selling wool and yarn, secretary work, or office work. She married Dr. Rudy Elois Ruark in 1947, when she was 21 years old. After Dr. Ruark passed away in 1952, leaving Ruth a young mother and widow at age 26, Ruth decided to move from Kentucky all the way to Fresno, CA, with her two small children, Linda Sue "Susie" and Rudy. She has resided in Fresno ever since. As a working single mother in the 1950's and 1960's, she bought her own home, obtained her Master's degree in education, wrote a book, and taught in the Clovis Unified School District for almost 30 years. After retiring, she continued to dedicate her efforts in Sunday school and helping out in the church nursery. As the solid rock of the family, Ruth also played a vital role in helping to raise her daughter Susie's two children, Robert Christopher "Chris" and Rhonda. Ruth was an avid reader and dedicated church member at LifeWay Baptist Church, formerly known as First Southern Baptist Church of Fresno. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa sorority, the Lion's Club, and the Parlor Lecture Club. All who knew Ruth became better for knowing her. She always demonstrated love, and a dutiful faith in the Lord. Even in her later years, former students would come up to Ruth and start talking to her, telling her how much she was admired. She lived her life as a great witness to God's power and was deeply trusting in Him. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Rudy Elois Ruark; her daughter Susie; her parents, Frank and Lula; and her siblings, Albert, Thomas, Charles "Deedle", Mary Elizabeth "Wissie", Josephine, Julian, Ella Mae, and Janie. Ruth is survived by her son, Rudy Frank Ruark; her son-in-law, Steve Hoffman; her grandson, Chris Williams and his wife Valerie; her granddaughter, Rhonda Lore and her husband Jason; her great-grandchildren, Joshua, Tara, Alicia, and Rachel; and her great-great grandchildren, Tommy, James, and Max. A Funeral Service will be held at LifeWay Baptist Church, 4250 W. Bullard, Fresno, CA 93722, on Friday, October 21, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. followed by a Graveside Service at Fresno Memorial Gardens. Stephens & Bean Chapel, 202 North Teilman Avenue, Fresno, California (559)268-9292
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Stephens & Bean Funeral Chapel
202 North Teilman, Fresno, CA 937061310
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