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Ruth Carole Rich McPherson


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Ruth Carole Rich McPherson Obituary
Ruth Carole Rich McPherson ("Mrs. Mac"), of Pingree, Idaho, passed away peacefully, on Thursday, June 30, 2016. Ruth was living at the Gables Assisted Living in Blackfoot at the time of her death. She was 95 years old.
Ruth, a twin, was born October 26, 1920 to Heber Charles Chase Rich, Jr., and Leva Barbara Gutting.
As a youth, Ruth always excelled in school and went the extra mile in whatever she did. Her penmanship was always beautiful and just about perfect throughout her whole life. In the third grade she wrote a letter to Santa Claus and sent it to the Daily Bulletin. She won a large porcelain doll that was as tall as she was. When she was twelve years old, she started a Captain Kids Club on the east island of the family ranch on the Snake River. The water was shallow and the kids could wade and swim, paint rocks, picnic and of course, bury treasures. Her mom would give her suckers and different kinds of candy and treats to hide in the treasure box for her friends. About 20 kids would ride their horses over to the island and go to the club. 
In 1936, Ruth was chosen to be the first Rodeo Queen of the Eastern Idaho State Fair. She received flowers, gifts and $500. She had the honor of leading the fair parade on her Dad's favorite horse and was asked to dance with the Master of Ceremonies in front of the grandstand. She loved horses and always walked with a little bow-legged gait from her horseback riding years. 
Ruth was married to Alan Ivan McPherson of Pocatello on October 18, 1940. When "Ike" was called to serve in the Montreal Quebec and Eastern Canada mission, Ruth stayed behind to teach school in Wapello, Idaho. During her summer break from school, however, she visited his mission and started the first Primary in that area. She was active in promoting the gospel and strengthening the church in the small branch there. Ruth and Ike were later sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple in 1942. 
Ruth taught school for 33 years in the southeastern Idaho area and also in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where her in-laws resided. She was fondly known by all of her students as, "Mrs. Mac". She loved to teach and made learning fun. Ruth was extremely ambitious and full of enthusiasm and energy. She was musical and could write and produce wonderful operettas. Many friends benefited from her beautiful poetry for birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, and weddings. She played the piano and violin in her younger days, and the guitar throughout her life. She sang at numerous funerals and weddings with her sisters - Barbara, Elna and Monna. Her mother, Leva, played the piano by ear and accompanied her daughters all over the valley.
Ruth received several honors and trophies for creative projects she entered in state and national educational competitions. In 1973, she won the Thom McCann Trophy of Distinctive Merit - a presentation of the National Education Association and Association of Classroom Teachers. Whenever there was money to be awarded in a contest to help the schools, Ruth entered it with her drawings and poetry and usually won the prize which she put back in the classroom. In 2013, Ruth was recognized by the Blackfoot Club of Zonta International for her many years of service to the school districts in the area and to the community.
Ruth was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held callings as Primary President, Mutual leader, teacher in Sunday School classes, and served in the Blackfoot West Stake as the Jr. Sunday School Music leader. She always kept very busy with her church work. She would inspire her whole Sunday School class to stand and share their testimonies on fast day. She would not only be their teacher on Sunday, but during the week she would take her class to plant gardens for the elderly or whatever was needed in the community to help others. She was also a great missionary and brought many into the Church. She was called to work in the Idaho Falls Temple as an ordinance worker in August of 1994. She had a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and shared it freely with family and friends. She felt that her involvement in the church gave her the best preparation and training for becoming a better teacher.
One of Ruth's motto's, was "work first, then play". She always worked hard with her children to train them to be industrious. Whether it was planting a garden and taking care of it, picking corn and peas then canning them for storage, picking potatoes from sun up to sun down at harvest time, or gathering wood down at the river. They all worked together - then would play together. No one could pull taffy better than Ruth. She made it look so easy-- but it was not! She was like watching a taffy pulling machine - back and forth, back and forth, until it turned white. Then she would stretch it out on the table and the children would cut and wrap it. She was also a great fisherman. After long months of summer school at Idaho State University she would occasionally reward her favorite professors with fishing and bon fire parties down at the river. Her children were trained as guides, cooks, waiters, and conversationalists to ensure her guests had a good time. No matter where she was or what she did, you always wanted to be with her because you didn't want to miss out on the fun that followed. 
Ruth loved her "Rich heritage" and dedicated her life to her family. She was loved by her nieces and nephews as well as by her siblings, children and grandchildren. She also loved her community family and spent many hours taking care of those who were ill - making several loaves of bread and pies each week to deliver to anyone who needed her tender love and care. Her involvement with Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) was very important to her own pioneer spirit. 
Ruth is survived by her four children, Rita Carole Dance (Alan), of Pingree, Ella Marie Gingerich (Verlin) of Mountain Home, Deanna Sasser (Michael) of Boise, and Rodney Alan McPherson (Stephanie) of Madera, California; 25 grandchildren,72 great grandchildren and 13 great-great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Alan, and daughter Karen. 
The family would like to express appreciation to the Gables of Blackfoot and the Hands of Hope Hospice for their kind and loving care of our mother.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 8, 2016 at the Pingree LDS Chapel with Bishop Von Meacham conducting. The family will meet with friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 7, 2016 at Hawker Funeral Home, and again for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will follow the services at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning News on July 8, 2016
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