Ruth Faulkner

We are here this afternoon to lay to rest Thelma Ruth Faulkner. As we do so we celebrate Ruth’s life even as we seek to renew our hope in that which is eternal.

Will you pray with me,

Our Father, we bow before you this morning grateful that you have made us people who draw strength and life from each other.  Thank you for Ruth’s life. Help us to reflect on the blessing you have given and in so doing bring praise and honor to you.  We ask in Jesus name. Amen.

Ruth Faulkner, was born January 18, 1921 in Northbend Nebraska to Henry H. and Anna Hoffman Hudson. On January 21, 1942 she married Roy E. Faulkner in Kahoka Mo.

She and her husband lived in Carthage IL until moving to Iowa in 1962. She enjoyed fishing, traveling, cooking and gardening. She spent her life as a farm wife and homemaker. Roy died on October 8, 1983.

Ruth missed Roy greatly. She struggled physically the last several years and she died at 10:35 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2009 at Donnellson Health Center in Donnelson IA.

Survivors include four daughters:

Marcia (Gary) Stiller of La Harpe IL.

Sharon (Bill) Dimit of Ottumwa,

Patricia (Richard) Millmier of Donnelson,

and Donna (Nik) Wasielewski of Washington IL.

One son, La Verne (Karen) Faulkner of Farmington;

12 Grandchildren;  18 great-grandchildren;  one sister, Annabell Larson of Galesburg; nieces and nephews.

Besides her husband she was preceded in death by her parents, one sister and one brother.

In the book of Proverbs there is a text that seems to speak to Ruth’s life,

10     A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.

11     Her husband trusts her without reserve,and never has reason to regret it.

12     Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

13     She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.

14     She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.

15     She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.

16     She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

17     First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

18     She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

19     She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.

20     She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.

21     She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

22     She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

23     Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.

24     She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.

25     Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

26     When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.

27     She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,

and keeps them all busy and productive.

28     Her children respect and bless her;

her husband joins in with words of praise:

29     “Many women have done wonderful things,

but you’ve outclassed them all!”

30     Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-GOD.[1]

 From what I understand Ruth Faulkner was a woman who was content in life. Even if that was all we could say it would be a mouthful. She loved being a wife and she loved being a mother.

She worked hard to keep the family going whether it was gardening, doing laundry, or cooking. She was a wonderful cook, had a quick wit and enjoyed helping others.

She did what she had to do whether it was administering discipline to the kids or killing chickens (which she hated) so the family could eat. She was always supportive of her children. She never complained and she strove to love all of her five children equally.

Ruth worked hard to provide for and protect her family. Ruth and Roy had a great relationship and always worked as a team. They enjoyed fishing as much for the fish as the serenity of the water. They enjoyed riding around the countryside to look at farmland.

Ruth enjoyed reading Guideposts and various farm magazines and she enjoyed poetry.

When her mom and here mother-in-law were sick she took care of both of them. When Roy died she was lonely. She had truly lost her partner in life.

These last months were not always easy. She was often frustrated that she couldn’t do what she thought she should be able to do. I suspect it wasn’t easy to have to depend on others. The family was blessed to have that one wonderful day when she had complete clarity and could express herself fully.

Ruth Faulkner didn’t make a big splash. She didn’t set any records, invent anything, or gain a great fortune. But she did make an impact. She made an impact with her consistency, her love and her faithfulness. It was a quiet impact, behind the scenes, no fanfare. Just the way she liked it.

[Poem by Alexis]

The message of the Christian faith is summed up in the words of the Apostle Paul.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

The message of Jesus was a message of hope. In fact, I would say it is the only real message of hope at a time such as this.

The message of the gospel is that Jesus came to earth as God reaching out to us. In sending Christ God was sending a simple message: He loves us.

“Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” The Bible is pretty clear: we have all fallen short of God’s standard for our lives. Think about it. Even if you did what was wrong or contrary to what God wanted 3 times a day (which would be a staggeringly good day for me!) that would be 21 times a week over 1000 times in a year and tens of thousands of times in a lifetime.  We cannot possibly earn enough extra credit to pay this debt.

We are like a person who is in desperate need of a heart transplant. You can stay alive for a while through the help of machines and medicine, but eventually you must have the transplant or die.

Jesus came, if you will, to provide the new heart that we needed. He gave His life to pay our sin-debt and correct the damage in our lives.

The next phrase is the most significant. “he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”.  Jesus did not stay dead. This is significant because it means that His promise that those who believe in him “will live even though they die” now takes on a whole new level of credibility.

Jesus promised that there is life beyond death for all those who put their trust in Him. The Bible describes Heaven as a glorious place where we are more alive than we could possibly fathom. It is a place where tears are gone, joy is abundant and the prospect of death, disease, and aging is gone.

As we stand here today the question is: Will you put your trust in the man who rose from the dead? If you will do so, this day takes on a different perspective. It is no longer a day of ending it becomes a day of release and a new beginning.

Ruth had a simple faith. It was private, but I suspect it was very real. God in His wisdom and compassion knows her heart. It’s my prayer that God will welcome her warmly into his kingdom. It is with this hope that we commit her body to the ground in the confidence that her life has gone on to something much much better.

It’s also my prayer that you will derive comfort in your loss from knowing that she is in His capable hands. And I also pray that you will find new incentive to trust the Lord so that you will someday be with her again.

Our Father, I ask you now to welcome Ruth Faulkner into your eternal Kingdom. Grant her rest from her labors and that abiding joy of your presence.

Lord we thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the love you extend that is far greater than we could ever deserve.

I pray for this family that you draw them together in their love for Ruth and for you. Grant them comfort in their time of loss. Help them as they seek to live their lives with her spirit. Help them to find that hope in you that will not disappoint. We ask this all in Jesus Name. Amen.