A regular on the elder panel for gerontology students attending UMSTL, she did not show up two Saturdays ago. She was elsewhere.

Her beginnings in rural Illinois nurtured her breath of spirit and enlarged her practicality. Her father encouraged her to follow her bliss, the study of law at Washington University in St. Louis, unheard of at the time. The stories of her training, accompanied by raised eyebrows and chuckles, revealed her passion to serve others. She went on to become a HUD lawyer for fifty years, only retiring in her eighties. She also was a wife and mother and grandmother.

Volunteering with the BJC Lumina Program for years, however, opened her to the world of hospice patients in the St. Louis area. During her visits in their homes, she listened to their life stories and later memorialized them in attractive booklets with significant pictures and mementos, displayed during their funerals. Often her blue eyes watered during monthly Lumina meetings while reporting on her new friends.

Through their influence, she knew what to do when her demise appeared imminent, occurring in just one week. A chance stepping on her crochet hook punctured her foot; its resulting infection led to pneumonia and then to the ICU. Refusing further treatment, she returned home to make her transition with hospice care.

medium_262642688    We will miss her bright spirit.

 

Her name was Ruth Edwards.

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