Ruth Anne (O’Dell) Brown, beloved only sister of Diane O’Dell, passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospice, Sarnia, on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
She lived her entire life in Petrolia where she was a teacher, mentor, friend, and above all….loving servant of her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Ruth’s anchor was her steadfast faith which she shared in practical, quiet, and unassuming ways.
Ruth’s passion for teaching began in her early teenage years when she began teaching Sunday School at First Baptist Church, Petrolia. Her subsequent leadership in the children’s programs at First Baptist became a lifelong commitment. In addition, she served on the Deacons’ Board for the past several years.
Ruth’s formal teaching career (Lambton County Board of Education) spanned thirty-seven years of teaching Kindergarten, grade one, and grade two. Upon her retirement in 1994, she became one ofthe founding Directors of the Lambton Youth Choir. She was also an ‘avid fan’ and supporter of Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia, where she not only enjoyed going to the theatre, but also billeting members of the cast and crew in her home throughout the theatre season.
Ruth was ‘a born teacher’. She nurtured children, she ‘mothered them’, and she faithfully prayed for them. It was her desire that all children – in Sunday School, in her classes, in the Lambton Youth Choir, and her ‘sponsored children’ from around the world – would know that Jesus loves them.
A song commissioned in celebration of her ‘special’ birthday and composed by Don Besig & Nancy Price concludes with the simple declaration of her faith, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me. That’s all I need to know.”
Ruth was predeceased by her husband, Ron Brown (1984) and her parents, Rita (‘Dot’) O’Dell (1989), and James O’Dell (1999). She is also survived by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Kim & Sue Brown and her niece, Jennifer Brown.
A funeral service will be held on Sunday, January 15, at 2:00 PM from First Baptist Church, 418 Greenfield St., Petrolia. A private interment will be in Hillsdale Cemetery, Petrolia