Ruth Barbara Ehrat Pontious Russell, 86, of Salem, formerly of Fayette County, passed away at 3:05 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, at her home.
Services were held on Monday at Salem Lutheran Church in Salem, with the Rev. Doug Meyer officiating. Burial was in Old Loogootee Cemetery in Loogootee. Visitation was held from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday at the church. Rogers-Atkins Funeral Home in Salem was in charge of arrangements. Memorials: Salem Lutheran Church or Old Loogootee Cemetery.
Ruth Barbara Ehrat was born November 3,1927 in the house where her father was born in Wilberton Township, Shobonier. Ruth was the youngest child born to William and Sophia Schmid Ehrat.
Ruth grew up on the farm where there was constant hard work for all of the family. That hard-working ethic stayed with her all of her life.
Ruth was a devout Christian and lived her faith everyday. She married Aubrey Pontious and lived on the farm in St. Peter prior to moving to Salem. Together, they had 11 children. Aubrey passed in 1973. Ruth then married Howard Russell and he passed in 1996. Ruth then married Allan Ruprecht in 2003 and he passed in 2009.
Ruth was an active and enthusiastic member of Salem Lutheran Church where she served in many capacities. She truly enjoyed sewing and completed projects for the VA and nursing homes continuously. She enjoyed bowling and bowled on a league until this past May. Her love of flowers came from her mother. She spent 25 winters in Florida and taught everyone how to play the card game Hand and Foot.
She is survived by her 11 children, Ulonda and her husband John Becker of Breese, Brad Pontious of Van Buren, Mo., Adrea Pontious and her husband Jack Griggs of Norris City, Niles Pontious and his wife Jan of St. Peters, Mo., Brice Pontious and his wife Eva of Zeigler, Valeda and her husband Randy Van Natta of Nashville, Ilesa and her husband Tom Brough of Salem, Tanna Pontious and her fiancé Jon Jenne of Effingham, Neena Pontious of Geneseo, , Kevin Pontious and his wife Lisa of Salem, and Darrin Pontious and his wife Ai-Ling of Mason, Ohio; grandchildren, Jeff Kretzer and his his wife Kim of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tammy and her husband Mike Kluemke of Beckemeyer, Lea and her husband Paul Parent of Blooming, Eric Wimberly and his wife Rosa of Panama City, Panama, Bryan Pontious and his wife Rachel
of St. Peters, Mo.; Aubrey Pontious of Bloomington; Liz and her husband Bobby Lane of San Antonio, Texas, Hannah Pontious of Zeigler; Corey Van Natta and his wife Kristin of Wildwood, Mo.; Dan and his wife Emily Van Natta of Pinckneyville; Alyssa Van Natta of Makanda, ReAnna and her husband Kyle Van Natta of Columbia; Heath Sill of Kinmundy; Jayde Rose of St. Louis, Mo.; Jordan Pontious and his wife Nickie of Glen Carbon; Brock Pontious and his fiancée Erin Pea of Edwardsville; Logan Pontious of Salem; Kaitlyn Pontious, Reece Pontious, and Jarrett Pontious all of Mason, Ohio; stepgrandchildren, Brayn Curran, Brandon Brough, Kristen and her husband Nathan Brewer; great-grandchildren, Zach Kretzer, Brittany and her husband Mike Zurn, Tori Kluemke, Cassie Parent, Megan Parent, Seth Parent and Dean Van Natta; great-stepgrandchildren, Blair Brewer, Jonah Brewer and Kaitlyn Brough; great-great-grandchildren, Leyla Kleumke and Reyann Linder; sisters, Dorothea Albright of Vandalia, Grace Albrecht of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Bernice McCoy of Tuscon, Ariz.; brothers, Walter Ehrat and his wife Shirley of Vandalia, and Arthur Ehrat and his wife Mary of Virden; sister-in-law, Betty Pontious; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and many others who called her Mom, including Jane Horn; special neighbors, Karen and Don Rusten; and her beloved cat, Tango.
She was preceded in death by her husbands; brothers-in-law, Victor Albright, Hilmer Albrecht, Bob McCoy, Myron Pontious and Lloyd Gurtner; sister-in-law, Enid Pontious Gurtner; twin great-grandson, Brandon and Kyle Kretzer; and parents-in-law, Homer and Iza Pontious.