Born September 10, 1933, Ruth Louise McKeen (Watkins) passed away at the age of 87 on March 5, 2021, after a recent decline in her health.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Russell William McKeen. She was the mother of Monti and Lisa (Roger Szuminsky). Grandmother of Matthew Stacey (Tracy), Peter Stacey (Brittany), Andrew Szuminsky, Steven Szuminsky (Jennifer), David Szuminsky, and Sadie Szuminsky. Ruth was great-grandmother of Owen, Mack, Lucia Mae, Eliza, Stella, and the sixth baby on the way. Ruth was one of three children born to Catherine Annette (Maholage) and Philbert George Watkins, from West Mifflin, Pa. She is survived by her older brother, Richard "Doc" Howard Watkins and preceded in death by her older brother John "Jack" Floyd Watkins.
Ruth graduated from the Homestead Hospital School of Nursing in 1954. Prior to retiring as an RN, she was a general floor, pediatric, and mental health nurse. Ruth completed her career as a utilization nurse, retiring from Jefferson Hospital in 1995. Ruth met her husband Russell at work. While caring for patients, Russell started talking to her and the rest is history. They enjoyed many years of paired activities. Among these were dancing lessons, opening a candy business, and exploring the local rivers as boat owners. Ruth and Russ enjoyed many years after retirement together.
Sweet as the pie she baked for her family, Ruth always welcomed friends and family over. In the door two minutes and she was offering the person something to drink, a pastry, or perhaps even a meal. Ruth followed her mother's recipe to make homemade bread. This task became her "mission" as she mixed, covered, raised, rolled for half a day, making a mass batch of loaves that she delivered still warm to all recipients. She loved to play games, competitively attempting to outwit her component…even if she had to "pretend" she didn't know if she was taking advantage; politely claiming the win. She never wanted to burden anyone and always was the first to help. As a mother, Ruth was loving, patient, stern, and supportive. She taught her daughters how to cook, passing down family recipes. Ruth planned parties, dance classes, sleepovers. She listened, cried, and prayed to the Lord daily for needs known and secrets shared. She passed down her strength; her ability to be a professional woman while guiding her young daughters into independent, professional women, as set by her own example. Ruth was purposely present, quick to love, slow to yell, always warm-hearted, graciously sharing, just in discernment, easy to talk with, and she always, always, always placed herself second to others. She was a loving mother to two little girls, a navigator to teenage daughters, a mentor to adult women, and a perfect friend to the end.
These traits carried over to her grandchildren. She baked "mini" breads, gave first baths, sewed suit jackets, dresses, and robes. Grandchildren enjoyed sleepovers filled with fresh baked cookies, root beer floats, and Pringles. To this day, grandchildren proudly admit learning "Grandma-taught poker." As years passed, Ruth enjoyed the arrival of her great-grandchildren. She held great-grandchildren lovingly in her arms as infants, watched each play with a smile on her face, played "peek-a-boo," and enjoyed "playing" her organ side-by-side creating unique and random songs. At her passing, Ruth was awaiting her sixth great-grandchild, which she secretly expressed knowledge of gender.
Ruth was ours. Our matriarch, our guide, our companion, our prayer warrior. She was our example of how to love, sacrifice, give freely, be present in one's life. Ruth was our gift, our privilege to have, our Blessing. You will be greatly missed, well remembered, imitated with pride, and seen rejoicing in Heaven when we get there. We all love you; now and forever you will remain always in our hearts.
Friends are welcome from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday and 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Thompson-Marodi Funeral Home 809 Main Street Bentleyville, 724-239-2255.
Due to the current limitations on gatherings, visitors to the funeral home will be restricted to 30 at a time. Facial covering and social distancing are required.
Friends are invited to Ruth's Celebration of Life at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at the South Hills Bible Chapel, 300 Gallery Drive, McMurray, with Pastor Tom Rojahn, officiating. The service will be live streamed at www.biblechapel.org/watch-live. A luncheon will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The Bible Chapel, Someone Cares Ministry, 300 Gallery Drive., McMurray, PA 15314.
Private interment will be at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville.
Visit www.thompson-marodi.com to leave a condolence message.
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