Ruth Marie Wilkins-Howell
Passed away peacefully on July 12, 2013 in Vallejo, California, following a short illness at the age of 88. A celebration of life: Ruth was born on December 27, 1924 to Capitola Eugene and Floyd Ernst Stephenson, one of six children, in Headrick, Jackson County, Oklahoma, where she spent her early life on a farm outside the town. After graduation from High School, she worked briefly in Altus, Oklahoma before moving to San Antonio, Texas to live with her sister Floyda Helton. It was in San Antonio that Ruth met and married Wilfrid (Bill) Edwin Wilkins Jr. on June 21, 1946. Bill Wilkins had returned from serving in the navy in WWII to take over the neighborhood grocery store for his aging parents, located just around the corner from where Ruth was living. They had 33 good years of life together, until Bill unexpectedly passed away on June 29, 1979. After Bill's death, Ruth moved to Austin, Texas to be close to her son. It was in Austin that Ruth met Robert Howell at a Christian Singles Club; Ruth and Robert were married on October 28, 1984. Ruth joined Faith United Methodist Church where Robert had been a member since the 1950's and was a charter member. Both Ruth and Robert were very active at Faith UMC where she served on the Administrative Council for many years, also serving as church Secretary and Treasurer. Besides their very active life with their church family, they also enjoyed game nights with their many friends playing a variety of domino and card games. They also traveled extensively with their friends on shorter trips and were able to travel with her sons on many vacations around the United States, including Hawaii and cruise vacations. Following Robert's passing in November of 2005, Ruth moved to Vallejo, California to be close to her sons. For 6 years Ruth had her own apartment at Merrill Gardens of Vallejo, a beautiful retirement community where she was popular and loved by all, enjoying the field trips and many other social activities calendared monthly. The last 1½ years Ruth has lived with her sons. Ruth always kept her mind active by playing word puzzles and keeping up with her family. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents Capitola and Floyd, her husbands Bill and Robert, sisters Floyda Helton, Ernestine Dare, Pauline Seay and brother Larry Stephenson. Ruth is survived by her brother Bill Stephenson of Edmond, Oklahoma; her sons Wilfrid (Ed) Edwin Wilkins III, Michael H. Peters, Emmett Mitchell Howell, Robert Lynn Howell, daughter Sharon Louise Caldwell Howell, grandchildren Alycia Lynn, Adrienne Michelle, Dallas Mitchell and Heidi Erin Howell. Ruth is also survived by her many loving nieces and nephews living in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other parts of the country. Over the last 25 years, Ruth never missed a family reunion; she lived to see her wonderful family. Ruth will be missed by all of us that loved her, but will remain in our hearts forever. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Mission Park Funeral Chapels South. Interment will follow at Mission Burial Park South For personal acknowledgement you may sign the guest book at www.missionparks.com in the obituary section.