Mary "Ruth" Skinner O'Connell (Gramma Ruth) died April 5, 2007, at home surrounded by family. Ruth was born Oct. 24, 1927, on the family farm near Manhattan to Glenn and Christine Skinner.
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Ruth married Bob O'Connell on July 2, 1951. Bob and Ruth's children: Rick and Jan O'Connell, Debbie and Doug Peterson, Colleen and Dan Nichols, and Bobby O'Connell III and Karen Brunner will love and miss her forever.
After graduating from a one-room school at the age of 16, and attending college in Portland, Ruth was involved in gratifying and rewarding careers in insurance, antiques, and a horse/cattle operation with Big Bob.
Ruth's pride and joy in life were her grandchildren: Ryan, Kristi, Shane and Kelsey O'Connell, Nathan and Riki Nichols and Tyson, Seth and Dustin O'Connell. Her joy was complete with the arrival of Kyler and Logan O'Connell her "greats!" Grandma Ruth's "grandkids" also include: Stephanie Schlauch, Janna Lundquist, James Emerson, Sergio Marquez, Allie Hunthausen, Travis Bennett, and too many others to list. Grandma Ruth basked in their company, accomplishments and triumphs. One of her greatest joys was watching them and attending the numerous events they were involved in. She never passed up an opportunity to watch her grandkids. She was a regular at every sporting event or school play and was always their number one fan.
Ruth's sister, Marjorie Skinner, and brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Florence Skinner, live in the Manhattan area. Her sisters-in-law, Ann B. Korting and Boots Hewitt also survive her. Numerous nieces, nephews and a multitude of friends will mourn her absence.
At Ruth's request, cremation has taken place, and according to her wishes the family will scatter her ashes at a later date. There will be a ceremony at Bob's grave at Fort Harrison on Saturday, April 14, at 2 p.m., followed by a celebration of life party at Jorgenson's from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Ruth suggested donations be made to PEERS (a local organization providing social opportunities for people with disabilities), P.O. Box 173, Helena, MT 59624; to the Lady of the Lourdes Church Restoration, c/o Lorna Johns, Marysville, MT 59620; or to the charity of your choice.
Local arrangements have been entrusted to Hagler-Anderson Funeral Home.
650 Logan Street
Helena, MT 59601
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 11, 2007