Ruth M. Coonley, 91, passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in Farmington, Illinois. A fifty-eight-year resident of North Aurora, Illinois, Ruth moved to Canton, IL in 2013 to live near her daughter Jean and her family.
Born October 18, 1925 in Selman, Oklahoma, Ruth spent her early years growing up on a family farm in Chetopa, KS the daughter of Sylvia Warner Dixon and James Joseph Dixon. She had four siblings, all of whom preceded her in death.
In 1945 in Wichita, Kansas, she met Merle J. Coonley, the Navy sailor she loved for the next forty-five years until his death in 1991. Following his discharge from the Navy, they moved to his hometown of Waupun, WI where they had three children, Allen J. Coonley (Karen) of Montgomery, IL, Sandra C. Blodgett (A. Mason, deceased) of Novato, CA, and Jean M. Arndt (Bill) of Canton, IL. She often commented how welcomed she felt by Merle’s family and friends, especially lifelong friends Phillip and Loretta Claggett. Waupun was their home until 1956 when Merle was transferred to new employment in Aurora, IL.
Ruth loved her family, children, and grandchildren Kim (Coonley) Hyman (Curtis) of Canton, NC, Kathryn R. (Katie) Blodgett of San Carlos, CA, Sarah M. Blodgett of New York City, NY, and Alexandra M. (Lexi) Arndt of West Des Moines, IA. In addition, she had three great grandsons and one great-great granddaughter. She loved to care for her home and garden and took immense pride in both. A fiercely independent woman, she still mowed her own lawn and blew her own snow well into her late 80’s. Her late son-in-law often insisted that “she made pies that would win a pie competition at the County Fair”!
Ruth enjoyed bowling and participated in many leagues, first with her husband, Merle, and later in senior leagues in the Aurora area. As a young married couple, Ruth and Merle also enjoyed square dancing, and, later, annual family camping trips across the country. She was very involved with her church, the former Union Congregational Church of North Aurora, where she sang in the choir. In her later years, she enjoyed quilting.
A graveside service will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at River Hills Memorial Park, 1650 S. River St., Batavia, IL 60510. In recognition of the care Ruth received in the final months of her life the family plans to establish a scholarship fund for CNA/Nursing students who need assistance with tuition. Memorial contributions for this scholarship may be sent in care of Sedgwick Funeral Homes, 1995 N. Main Street, Canton, IL 61520 in the name of the Ruth M. Coonley Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund. Cremation rites will be accorded with Sedgwick Funeral Homes & Crematory in Canton, IL. To make online condolences you may go to www.sedgwickfuneralhomes.com