Ruth Alice Eshman Ebersole
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MARION: Ruth Alice Eshman Ebersole, 91, passed away after an extended illness on February 19, 2014 at Heartland of Marion. She was born on April 12, 1922 in Marion, Ohio to Mary Gertrude ("Marie") Burke Eshman and Henry Ward Eshman.
A lifelong resident of Marion, Ruth was a homemaker and the loving wife to her husband, Dave, and devoted mother to her two sons, Jack E. Ebersole and David Allen Ebersole.
All who had the privilege of knowing Ruth knew that she was truly one of kind - an angel among us. She was a woman of deep faith and dedicated her life to her family. When her oldest son, Davey, was born in 1941 with profound physical and mental disabilities she and Dave were warned by medical professionals that Davey would not live to his thirteenth birthday. Though Ruth would credit Davey's longevity solely to God's work, it was through Ruth and Dave's unwavering care that Davey lived a happy life for 56 years - all at home with his parents.
For more than 30 years, Ruth and Dave lived just 3 doors away from Ruth's parents on Monroe St. in Marion. Ruth was her parents' untiring caregiver in their latter years, as well. And, of course, she was by Dave's side as he drew his last breath at their home in 2007.
Ruth loved sitting on her front porch on summer days socializing with her neighbors. Her pleasant organ music could often be heard as one passed by the front door.
Ruth was a founder of the organization known today as Marca Industries. The Marion Area Retarded Children and Adults, which became known by its acronym, MARCA, began as the first school for the developmentally disabled in a single room at the Marion County Children's Home. Not only was she one of the founding parents of MARCA in 1953, but she remained active with Marion County MRDD, serving on various boards and committees for the next 53 years. Ruth knew that Davey and others who lived with acute disabilities deserved to live productive and dignified lives. She was a tireless advocate and was honored later in 2009 by Marion County MRDD.
Though she outlived her children, husband, parents and five siblings, Ruth remained one of the most upbeat, cheerful, kind and gentle souls to all who encountered her. She possessed a tremendous sense of humor and loved to laugh. She was a doting great-grandmother to Alyssa who she loving called "Little Girl". Ruth was a generous soul who never blinked when asked for help. She was widely admired and respected by her family, many friends and neighbors.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, children, husband and siblings - Nathalia (Deloss) Freshwater, Leo (Lilly) Eshman, Paul (Lois) Eshman, Edward (Ruth) Eshman, and Marjorie Eshman who died during childhood.
She is survived by her two grandsons, Brad (Whitney) Ebersole and Todd Ebersole; and her great granddaughter, Alyssa. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. She was a member of St. Mary's Parish.
Funeral arrangements are with Gunder/Hall & Folk in Marion where visitation will be Sunday from 2 - 5pm. A Mass of Christian burial will be at 10am on Monday, February 24th at 10am at St. Mary Catholic Church at 251 N Main St. in Marion with Father Thomas Buffer presiding. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to MARCA Industries, 2387 Harding Highway East, Marion, OH.
Online condolences may be expressed to www.gunderhallandfolk.com.
Published in the Marion Star from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22, 2014
Gunder/Hall & Folk Funeral Home
347 West Center Street Marion, OH 43302