The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 12, 2013

Ruth Lea Anderson

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Ruth Lea Anderson passed on Wednesday morning, July 10, 2013, at the Quaker Hill Manor in Lowell, Kan., after a long illness.

Ruth was 83 years young and enjoyed a rich life filled with books, laughter, friends and family.

Ruth was the second of three children born in Peoria, Okla., on Oct. 9, 1929, to Theresa VonPaige and James Sullivan.

Ruth graduated from Picher High School in Picher, Okla. in 1947. Later that year, she married Alva Lee Anderson and headed out west to Montana. After returning to Lowell, Ruth worked at Moncrief's Greenhouse and then for many years as the lunch program bookkeeper for the Riverton School District. She was lovingly known by many children as Ruth, the lunch lady.  

Ruth had a deep love for music and a beautiful voice, for many years leading the song service at Southside Christian Church in Baxter Springs, Kan. She remained a faithful member of Southside (now Crossroads) and leaves behind many friends.

Ruth was a lover of history and an avid reader, always immersed in multiple books and ready to discuss her latest discoveries. She loved to travel and spent many happy vacations traveling the country and learning about its history.

Perhaps the deepest testament to her character abides in the lives she touched through her service and generosity. Ruth quietly fed the poor, visited the sick and clothed the needy as long as she was physically able. Though she never spoke of her actions, her example is a bright beacon of love to her family and the world.  

She is survived by her brother, John Sullivan;  three daughters, Donna Shaw and her husband, Clair Shaw, Janet Hubbard and her husband, Joe Hubbard and Terri Anderson; one son, Russell Anderson and his wife, Kelly Anderson; four grandchildren, Angela Greishaber, Ryan Shaw, Jason Hubbard and Wesley Anderson; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, at Crossroads Christian Church, Baxter Springs, with burial following in Lowell Cemetery. Pastor Tracy Rowe will officiate. Visitation will be held at Derfelt's Baxter Chapel from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday evening.

Contributions in Ruth's memory can be made to the American Kidney Fund.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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