Ruth Guernsey of St. George Island, passed away June 29, 2016 under the care of Covenant Care Hospice at Bay Medical in Panama City.
Ruth Lillian Schulthise was born Sept. 7, 1925 in Tell City, Indiana to Ernest and Nella Schulthise. She was the second of seven children and graduated high school in Dale, Indiana.
Ruth Guernsey attended Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana State University) in Terre Haute, Indiana and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1948 and later a master of science. She dedicated her career teaching preschool, kindergarten, first grade elementary and later teaching early child development courses at Indiana State. Ruth received numerous recognition awards for outstanding accomplishment and service to the care of children.
She married James Lee Guernsey Aug. 18, 1946. They had two children Ernest Thomas Guernsey and Carol June Guernsey. Terre Haute Indiana is where they lived, worked and raised their family. Ernie married Stefanie Lebar and live in Tampa and St George Island. Carol married Bruce Bate and live in Hartwell, Georgia.
In 1971, Ruth and Lee discovered St. George Island and bought a beach cottage. They found St. George Island to be paradise and retired there in 1986. They immediately became part of the community and spent 23 years of blessed retirement together. Lee passed away in 2009. They shared 63 years of wonderful marriage.
A devoted member of the St. George Island First Baptist Church, Ruth loved her church and church family. She attended and hosted Sunday night Bible Study in her home for many years.
Ruth was one of the original St George Island Quilters and enjoyed her fellow quilters, and the quilts that were auctioned off annually at the Chili Cook-off to support the St. George Island Fire Department and First Responders.
She also was nationally recognized for a quilt commemorating their 50th wedding anniversary. She organized family and friends to contribute a patch from all 50 states which was put together in a beautiful American quilt.
Ruth Guernsey was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers Paul, Carl, and John Schulthise and sister Erna Cox.
She is survived by her son and daughter in-law Ernie and Stefanie Guernsey; daughter and son-in-law Carol and Bruce Bate; sisters Betty Ann Stevenson and Nelda Jean Schulthise and their families; niece Betty (Brandy) Brandenburg and family; nephews Jim (Vicki) and Tom Schulthise and their families; sister-in-law Mary Basham and her tremendous family; granddaughters Dinelle (Brent) Caldwell, Annette (Dan) Karlsberg; great-grandchildren Daylin Pettitt, Aubrey Pettitt, Dalanna Karlsberg, Brody Karlsberg; many wonderful friends and her beloved Boston Terrier Cilla.
Ruth Guernsey gave a legacy of love of God, family and life to all who knew her. She was an inspirational role model who endeared many. Her beautiful spirit will live with all of us forever.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 at the St. George Island First Baptist Church, 501 E Bayshore Drive, St George Island, FL 32328
In lieu of flowers, it was Ruth’s desire to have memorial contributions made to the St. George Island First Baptist Church.