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 Ruth Y Harwell

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Ruth Y Harwell

  • Birth 15 Jan 1920
  • Death 22 Sep 2006
  • Burial Orange, Orange County, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 15858896

Hymn- How Great Thou Art #77 or Let Us Break Bread Together, #618 Scripture- 1 Corinthians 13 or something about love and faithfulness Irish Blessing- May the Road Rise to Meet You.

Ruth Young Harwell was born January 15, 1920, in Franklin County, Virginia.

Her parents were Lizzie Stanley Young and Daniel Bayard Young.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward E. Harwell; her parents, and her brothers and sisters, Jesse, Iris, Tilman, Blair, Ed, Dalton, and Stuart.

Mrs. Harwell was related to both the Philpott and Stanley families through her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth H. Philpott, whose father died defending Richmond during the Civil War.

She is survived by two sons, Edward Eugene Harwell Jr., of Warrenton and G. Kelly Harwell of Birmingham, Alabama; a daughter, Ruth Ann Harwell Heldreth and her husband, Bill of Bloomfield Hills, Missouri; grandchildren, John Heldreth of Stuttgart, Germany; David Heldreth of Auburn Hills, Missouri and Elizabeth and Kate Heldreth of Bloomfield Hills, Missouri.

Mrs. Harwell attend Madison College for Women in Harrisonburg until a lack of finances forced her to discontinue her schooling. While living with her sister, Jesse Young Carpenter, In Orange, she met Edward E. Harwell, a Wetumpka, Alabama, native whose aspirations of becoming a doctor had been stymied by a lack of financial resources. Unable to continue school at Auburn University, Mr. Harwell had taken a bus to Virginia in search of work during those Depression years and disembarked in Orange with 35 cents in this pocket. He found a job and within a few years started Harwell Construction Company, Inc. In October 1941, approximately six weeks before Pearl Harbor, they married. Following the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Harwell enlisted in the Navy Seabes, and Mrs. Harwell worked as a secretary at Grasty Lumber in Orange during the war years.

With the end of the war, Ruth and Ed built a house on Spicer's Mill Road on property brought from the Mitchell family and raised a family of three children and lots of pets. Ruth and Ed were active members of Trinity Methodist Church in Orange for over 50 years. Ruth belonged to the Orange Woman's Club and the Rapidan Garden Club. In addition to her family, she loved cooking, sewing, gardening, and birdying. Ruth and Ed were supporters of Grymes Memorial School from its inception, and their children donated 11 acres of their land on Spicer's Mill Road to the school.

Ruth and Ed had an insatiable curiosity about the world we live in and traveled the world to see people and places they read about through the pages of Smithsonian, National Geographic and Time, a few of the many magazines two which they subscribed. They went to every continent except Antarctica. In 1972, Ruth while on around the world trip with friends who immigrated from the middle East, visited Badgered Tehran, Cairo, and Beirut as independent traveler and stayed with local Christian families, a trip that enhanced her knowledge of Middle East culture and its attitude toward Christianity. When both were over the age of 70, they traversed the British Isles by Britrail Pass, ferrys, and other means of transportation, stopping when they felt like it and lugging their bags to bed and breakfast establishments. Although they were "teetotalers", they said that some of their best lodgings were found at pubs. The village of Harwell, England, was their favorite community, and they stayed there on several occasions with the Woolen family.

When Ruth became afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, she requested that she be placed in the Orange County Nursing Home if the need arose because she knew the people there and the quality of care they provide. During one of her last lucid moments while still living at home, she described her mind as being "so chaotic" that she knew she was losing her grip on sanity. As her Alzheimer's worsened, she could only recognize her beloved Ed. While at the nursing home, she once commented to her son Gene, that she always felt as if someone was looking down on her from above and comforting her.

Ruth's family especially thanks everyone at the Orange County Nursing Home for the care shown both Ruth and Ed during their years in the nursing home. Her admiration for the people there was well founded.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday September 25, 2006, at the Trinity United Methodist Church Orange, with interment in Graham Cemetery. Reverend Forest Porter will officiate.

Family Members


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  • Created by: Laurie
  • Added: 23 Sep 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15858896
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ruth Y Harwell (15 Jan 1920–22 Sep 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15858896, citing Graham Cemetery, Orange, Orange County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Laurie (contributor 2811407) .