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Ruth W. Owen: In Our Care ~ January 12, 2021


Maysville, MO…..Ruth Dale (Wulfkuhle) Owen passed away on January 12, 2021, at the Cameron Hospital at the age of 96. Ruth was born on August 2, 1924 in Wellington, MO. She was the first of two daughters born to Christopher John and Beulah (Larkin) Wulfkuhle. Ruth attended school in Wellington and in 1944 graduated from Warrensburg State Teacher’s College with a teaching degree in Education. She continued her education throughout the years and received her Master of Science Degree from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.

In her move to Maysville to teach, she found a room at the residence of Guy and Opal Crabill and their six children beginning a lifelong friendship with the family and especially with daughter Jean Crabill Waltemath.

Her teaching career began in 1944 at Maysville High School as the Business Department teacher. This career spanned 42 years all being at the Maysville School District, retiring in 1986. Ruth had one huge job, teaching. As a teacher she touched the lives of many family members, cousins (first and second generation), nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, friends, children of friends, and grandchildren of friends. If you took typing, shorthand, or bookkeeping you knew Mrs. Owen. She knew all students in school by name and their parents. She was also the Senior Class sponsor for many years. Many students considered Mrs. Owen a mentor in their careers either as teachers or in the business field.

In 1946, she met Loren B. “Doc” Owen when she sold him a ticket to a basketball game at Maysville High School. They were married on August 29, 1948 at the Wellington Methodist Church. In August, 2020, Ruth and Doc celebrated 72 years of a lifetime together.

After their retirement Doc and Ruth spent winters in Mission Texas for 32 years exploring the area, making new friends, and enjoying the warm winters of South Texas. Even after suffering a stroke she was still able to ride a three wheeled bicycle around the park they lived in, use a walker and pull herself into the vehicle.

Ruth’s passion for genealogy took her and Doc across the United States verifying information for the family history. As a member of the Historical Society Ruth enjoyed talking with people and helping them locate information about their families.

Over the years they have visited almost every state in the union traveling to Navy reunions, gathering family tree information at Ellis Island in New York or Salt Lake City, Utah. Always up for an adventure they left in June 1986 for Alaska in a pickup pulling a trailer. Ruth’s nephew was stationed in Alaska at the time and they always wanted to see that state, so away they went. They couldn’t resist visiting Washington State to see Mt. St. Helens after the eruption.

Ruth served as President of the Missouri State Business Education Association and chaired the State Business Education Contests. She also served as secretary and vice-chairman of the North Central Business Education Association and was a member of the State Business and Office Advisory Committee. Along with fellow Business teacher, Vera Mix, they established the FBLA Chapter at Maysville High School. During her time as the Commercial Teacher and as one of the FBLA instructors’ numerous awards, certificates and trophies were won though competitions by the students.

She was a faithful member of the Maysville United Methodist Church attending when they were home and weather and health permitted; Chapter DV of the P.E.O. Sisterhood; charter member of Beta Rho Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa of which she recently receiving the Golden Sister award in recognition of 50 years of membership; Lafayette-Lexington DAR; Charter Member of the DeKalb County Historical Society, serving as president for 14 years; Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society; Missouri State Genealogical Society, where she received it’s Director’s Award. In 2008 she was named one of 20 Who Count by the St. Joseph News-Press. Ruth was always an active participant of any organization to which she belonged.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Lois Jean Hough, and niece Ethel Gunderson.

She is survived by her husband, Doc. Also surviving are nieces and nephews Chris (Janice) Hough, Lexington, MO, Kerry (Mary) Hough, Wellington, MO, Steven (Shelly) Hough, Higginsville, MO, Gerald (Ruth) Owen, Charlene (Terry) James, Owen (Marsha) West all of Maysville, MO, Joyce Schifferdecker, Lee’s Summit, MO, Helen (Greg) Carrel, Clarksdale, MO, Harriet (Rodney) Archdekin and David (Darla) Owen, St. Joseph, MO, Tim Owen, Independence, MO, Cindy (Mark) Fales, Colorado Springs, CO, Jeanette Ashford, Hollister, MO, Lee (Mary Lou) Owen, Charlotte, NC, Louise (Ted) Betsch, Marietta, GA.

She will be sadly missed by not only her family but by the many students she taught and the numerous friends she made over the years.

Graveside service will be held 1:30 p.m Saturday, January 23, 2021 at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Maysville, Missouri. Friends may call on Turner Family Funeral Home of Maysville after 10:00 a.m. on Friday. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorial Contributions: Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, DeKalb County Historical Society, or Owen Memorial Scholarship. Online condolences:

15 Responses to “Ruth W. Owen: In Our Care ~ January 12, 2021”

  1. Rodney Bray January 19, 2021 at 5:42 pm #

    So saddened to hear of Ruth’s passing. I eagerly took all the classes I could under her guidance. She was a great teacher, showing patience and providing encouragement to all her students. Her direction was instrumental in my life decisions as I am certain it was for many others.
    My sincere condolences to her family.

    Rodney Bray, Class of 1969

  2. Twila Halter January 19, 2021 at 7:12 pm #

    It is with deep sadness to be writing a tribute for Ruth. She was my favorite teacher, my mentor and the person most influential for me when I started my career in education. I will cherish her memory as a teacher, P.E.O. sister and friend.

    In addition, John and I will always treasure Doc and Ruth’s friendship and the inspirational example they lived. We are sharing the sorrow with all who will miss her so much.

  3. Tom Files January 19, 2021 at 9:44 pm #

    Sad to hear of Ruth’s passing. She was the teacher responsible for my future in accounting. She was always encouraging. When I visited her at the Historical Society years later, she was still in teacher mode; excited to teach me things about the county where I grew up.

  4. Kathy (& Lonnie) Moore January 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm #

    A beautiful obituary honoring someone very special. Not surprising to learn of her years of input into varying activities that added to the lives of those having differing relationships with her: teacher; mentor; fellow member of her church and numerous clubs, societies, committees and associations. I was able to take four classes she taught, including “Publications”. How incredibly thoughtful for her to add to her teaching load after a year (’60-’61) with no school paper or Mahian, knowing how much the Mahians, especially, mean to us after graduation. Gifted in kindness, generosity and truly caring for others, she was a lovely lady who will remain dear to many for years to come. Our sincere smpathy to her family . . . .

  5. Andrea Barton January 20, 2021 at 12:36 pm #

    Mrs. Owen was a wonderful lady and a great teacher. She will truly be missed. Wonderful memories of this outstanding woman! Payers for all of you and your families.

    Andrea Barton and family

  6. Sue (Roach) Jones January 20, 2021 at 9:43 pm #

    So sorry to hear of Ruth’s passing. I enjoyed her classes when I attended MHS 1969 thru 1973. Prays for her family.

  7. Ronald (RE) Sherard Jr January 21, 2021 at 1:55 am #

    So saddened by Ruth’s passing. My sincere condolences to Doc and the extended family. She was more than just a teacher, but also a Route A neighbor and friend to the family.

  8. Kay (Bray) Phillips January 21, 2021 at 2:03 pm #

    Mrs. Owen had a tremendous influence on my life–both during high school and in my future career as a business educator. She was such a caring teacher, kind and helpful to all, and an excellent role model. Our prayers for all the family she leaves behind.

  9. Tami Molder Davis January 21, 2021 at 3:47 pm #

    What a beautiful obituary for such an amazing woman. I have shared several times with my family of the experiences with Mrs Owen and my four years of high school in her class. She was a teacher that really made an impact in your life. Many times I tell myself that I wish I had kept up with my shorthand, and it always made me think of her class. I am forever grateful for her teaching and passion for what she did. Thank you Mrs Owen for the memories, and for the many things you taught me. You will be greatly missed. ( I am glad she didn’t teach English and Language! LOL)

  10. Mona (Johnson) Rush January 21, 2021 at 6:15 pm #

    So saddened to hear this beautiful lady has passed. Anyone who studied under Mrs. Owen and Mrs. Mix should call themselves very fortunate. Favorite memory: being in national FBLA contest in Washington DC in 1976. Mrs. Owen and Mrs. Mix were not about to miss this opportunity to support me so they convinced their husbands to pack up and head east for a vacation. Meant the world to me! And what fun to see them just as impressed as I was to meet Col. Sanders.

  11. Marisa (Hecker) Ellison January 22, 2021 at 12:29 am #

    What a sweet lady and good teacher.

  12. Martha Sommers January 22, 2021 at 3:12 pm #

    We at The Old Cookstove are saddened to hear of Ruth’s passing. We will miss her very much. Doc and Ruth were like a part of The old Cookstove they have been coming to the Cookstove for breakfast every morning for years if they didn’t show up we were always concerned that something was wrong. They were definitely a bright spot in our morning. We miss them!!

  13. frank,gena rae shores January 22, 2021 at 5:40 pm #

    Gena Rae and I are sorry for your loss. You both did so much with genalogy in st. joe and dekalb county.

  14. Tony and Barbara Ganote January 22, 2021 at 6:32 pm #

    Sorry for you loss. What a wonderful lady!

  15. Barbara Brent O’Connor January 23, 2021 at 11:32 pm #

    Every day of my 30 year career as Cameron City Clerk, I used what Mrs. Owen taught me! She was an amazing teacher and as time went on an incredible friend! Indeed she loved her students and helped to make them successful in their lives!! I gave scholarships in her honor a couple of different times over the years so she would know how much her teaching meant. She was so very gracious and humble about the honor!

    Now I’m pleased to donate for a memorial for my favorite teacher! Her dedication and love of students truly made a difference to many lives, young snd old alike.

    May her soul Rest In Peace!

    Barbara Brent O’Connor
    Class of ‘67

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