Ruth Martin Longenecker: A Treasure in an Earthen Vessel


October 4, 1918 – May 14, 2017

Aunt Ruthie: Principal, Rheems Elementary School, about 1975

Aunt Ruthie: Principal, Rheems Elementary School, about 1975


On Sunday, May 14, we said “Goodbye” to our dear Aunt Ruthie. Appropriately, Ruthie, a mother to many, passed away on Mother’s Day.

Time with a loved one, no matter how long, is never enough. Saying goodbye is never easy. Neither is letting go.

Her family in Florida will fly to Pennsylvania to pay tribute to a life well-lived. Others living close by will join them.

* * *

As I gather my thoughts, lines from scripture come to mind:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  

 II Cor. 4:7


Bisque-fired clay vase, Cliff Beaman circa 1970

Coral-filled, bisque-fired clay vase, Cliff Beaman circa 1970


Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.   Psalm 116:15



Other lines from literature:

Lives of great [wo]men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and departing leave behind us, footprints on the sand of time.             ~    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from Psalm of Life


In August 2014 on a knoll at Bossler Mennonite Church cemetery after my mother’s memorial service, Aunt Ruthie looked at the deep azure blue sky. Then she tilted her head higher, noting the puffy clouds and remarked: “I’m going up on the next cloud!”


She didn’t make it on the next, or the next . . . or even the next. But she did finally make it to her eternal home this week. Her ascension, of course, on a puffy cloud to heaven.

We will miss her!



Christmas 2016


Her journey has ended, but another phase of our own has begun. Thus, I will be taking a break from posting here or responding on your websites.