Ruth Burkholder

Ruth Dorothy Shepler, 92, died July 8, 2008, at Legacy Park, Peabody.

Born Dec. 29, 1915, at Peabody, Catlin Township, she was the youngest of eight children of Clarence Burton Shepler and Ann Rowland Shepler. She was a lifelong resident of Peabody and a lifelong member of Peabody First Christian Church.

She attended Peabody public schools, graduating from high school in 1934. On March 13, 1942, she married Jack Martin Burkholder at San Francisco, Calif. They had one son, Thomas Rowland Burkholder.

Ruth began her professional career as a Southwestern Bell telephone operator in Peabody. During World War II, while Jack served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific, she worked in the government rationing office at Marion.

But, to generations of Peabody school children, their parents, and townspeople, Ruth was best known as "the Library Lady." From the 1930s, when she often assisted Peabody library Gladys Hoyt part-time, through 1970 when Gladys retired and Ruth became librarian, until her own retirement in 1999, Ruth was a presence in the Peabody Township Library for more than 60 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents; seven brothers and sisters; and husband, Jack.

Survivors include her son, Tom and his wife, Kathy of Henderson, Nev., and a host of nieces and nephews, their children, grandchildren, and her friends.

Funeral services were conducted Saturday morning at Baker Funeral Home, Peabody. Burial was in Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Peabody.

A memorial fund has been established with Peabody Township Library.

— paid obituary