Ruth Ward Blackwell, 87, of Arden NC died peacefully in the early morning of Sunday, February 10, 2019.
Mrs. Blackwell was born in Buncombe County to the late Luther B and Ellery Aiken Ward. She is also predeceased in death by her husband, Gene Blackwell who died in 2016, a son-in-law, Bryan C Shuler; and a brother Leroy Ward.
Ruth is survived by her daughter Terry Shuler; grandson Kevin Shuler (Amanda) and granddaughter Allison Grandits (Jim); sister Beatrice Taylor and brothers Arnold and L T Ward, and several nieces and nephews.
Ruth retired from Southern Bell (now AT&T) following a long career in executive management, holding the position of District Engineer. She was a lifetime member of the Pioneers and a faithful volunteer with Camp Bluebird. The joy of her retirement came from her bountiful floral garden and of sharing the bounty with neighbors (known and unknown) by placing plants along the roadside for the taking. Her love for the garden gave rise to her favorite hymn IN THE GARDEN. And to her favorite lyric, “I come to the garden alone”, but always knowing she was never alone.
Ruth was a charter member of Arden First Baptist Church where she spent a lifetime in numerous leadership positions. Her home church was Alexander Chapel, Aiken Road, where her Aiken ancestors were instrumental in starting the church, more than 160 years ago.
A celebration of life service will be held at 3:00 PM, Monday, February 18th 2019 at Arden First Baptist Church. Her family will receive friends at the church on Monday from 2:00 until 2:45 PM.
Memorials may be made to Arden First Baptist Church, 3839 Sweeten Creek Road, Arden, NC or to Alexander Chapel. c/o Elizabeth Hawkins, 133 Blackberry Road, Weaverville, NC 28787.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.