Mary Ruth Miller Eckinger, born July 5, 1942, to Tommy and Meda Miller in Bolivar. Ruth gained the victory over cancer on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, and went home to be with her Savior.
She grew up and attended school in Bolivar, graduating high school in 1960.
She spent many hours at her father’s store, Northside Market. She was saved as a young woman.
She married Richard Cleaver on Dec. 20, 1968, and was the wonderful mother to her two children, Greg and Rhonda. Her children were truly the loves of her life.
When Richard passed, she married her sweetheart, Duane Eckinger, on March 7, 2001. Along with this new marriage came Duane’s two daughters and a son. Ruth loved them as her own.
Ruth and Duane spent the last several years ministering to the wonderful residents at Parkview nursing home, Butterfield Assisted Living and CMHCF nursing home.
Ruth loved being outdoors, and you would see her speedwalking throughout her neighborhood and community.
Her last church membership was Berean Baptist, Springfield, and she attended Heritage Baptist Church in Bolivar.
She built many friendships with neighbors and the community with her compassionate nature. Many of these friends attended to her in her last weeks. They were truly blessings to Ruth and her family.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Meda Miller, and father, Tommy Miller; brother Charles Miller; sister Joyce Staker; and first husband, Richard Cleaver.
She is survived by her husband, Duane; children Greg and Tresa Cleaver, Rhonda and Terry Butcher, Denise and Kody Crawford, Duane and Bambi Eckinger, Dawn and PJ Sribuarat; sister Delores and Roy McElwee; brother-in-law Ron Staker; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Wally and Marilyn Illsley; 14 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at Butler Funeral Home. A graveside service will follow at 11 at Mt. Gilead Cemetery.