“May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” Ruth 2:12
Close to the time of 10 pm on Sunday, September 24, 2023, the Lord called home his most humble and faithful of servants, Ruth (Hazell) Reece, of Ozark, Missouri. She was blessed with a long life of ninety-four years. She passed away peacefully at her home with her daughter Pam and granddaughter Jenny present.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself.”Phillipians 1:2-3
Ruth was born in Edwardsville, PA June 30, 1929, to Russell C. Hazell and Elva (Jones) Hazell. After losing her mother, Elva, at a young age, Ruth became a devoted sister to her younger brothers, Russell Jr and William. On March 5, 1955, Ruth was joined in matrimony to John B. (Jack) Reece of Springfield, Missouri, and together they would have the joy of welcoming five children: Patricia, Janet, John Jr., Pam, and Russell. They built their lives together as John served in the United States Air Force which saw them traverse the country from Washington D.C. to Anchorage, Alaska. Ruth herself worked as a civilian through the Air Force and Army Civil Service in Virginia, and as the daughter of a Mason, Ruth was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star for over 75 years and Past Matron of Columbia #15, of Washington D.C. During her retirement years, by way of Buick or Winnebago, Ruth and John spent their summers visiting their children and grandchildren from Mississippi to New Hampshire. Her joy in life was her family, and with her five children, twenty-three grandchildren, and twenty great grandchildren, Ruth showed her family the true meaning of selfless generosity. As a member of the Hopedale Baptist Church in Ozark, Missouri, Ruth was a devout Christian, and held on to her faith even during the worst of times. For all that knew her, Ruth was the embodiment of unyielding devotion, unwavering faith, and strength of spirit, with perhaps a slight dusting of stubborn tenacity. She will be missed, but the knowledge that the pains of a long-lived life no longer trouble her is her family’s greatest comfort at this time.
“You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.” Job 10:12
Ruth is survived by four of her five children; Janet Washburn, John Reece Jr., Pam Steckman, and Russell Reece, her brother Russell Hazell Jr., and all but two of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is not short on heavenly companions as preceding her are her mother Elva, father Russell and stepmother, Marion Minerva Harrigton Williams, John B. Reece (best-friend/roommate/husband), her eldest child Patricia, her youngest brother William, her son-in-law Brandon Washburn and her grandsons Kyle Reece and Corey Washburn.
Funeral services for Ruth will be 11:00 A.M. Friday, May 24, 2024 at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri. The family would like to give thanks to all the staff at Mercy Hospital and North Park Senior Living Center, for their exceptional care in preserving Ruth’s life for as long as she would allow it.
Arrangements under the care and direction of Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark, Missouri. Online condolences may be shared at www.barnesfamilyfunerals.com.