Memorial services for former Greybull resident Ruth Elaine Stephens of Worland will be held Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. at the Worland Middle School auditorium. Ruth, 67, died Jan. 31 at the Washakie Medical Center from a sudden illness.
She was born Jan. 8, 1948, in Tiffin, Ohio, the daughter of Robert Wayne and Edith Fern Bell Palmer. She grew up and received her education in McCutchenville, Ohio.
She eloped with Mark Vincent Stephens on Nov. 26, 1966, in Adrian, Mich. They lived in Tiffin for 11 years and then moved to Greybull. She worked for Ron’s Food Farm for 12 years. In 1990, she decided to follow her dream of becoming a teacher and enrolled in Casper College’s teaching degree program. She graduated in 1994. Her first job was in one of the few remaining one-room schoolhouses in Wyoming at Kortes Dam on the North Platte River in central Wyoming. She taught there for two years before returning to the Big Horn Basin.
Ruth taught Title 1 math and reading and was the instructional facilitator at West Side Elementary in Worland for almost 20 years. In those 20 years, she touched hundreds of lives and her life was touched by her students. She retired in 2014.
Ruth was also the head of the Washakie County Library Board.
Ruth and her soul mate Mark did things their way; they didn’t listen to naysayers. They married at 18, moved to Wyoming when the economy was down, and started attending college in their mid-40s. They made a wonderful life in Wyoming; both retired as teachers.
She enjoyed reading, camping, her grandchildren and attending their sporting activities. She loved traveling with Mark and tending her flower gardens in the summer. For several years she and her sisters spent “girls” vacations” in exotic locations.
Her parents preceded her in death.
She is survived by her husband Mark of Worland; two sons and daughters-in-law, Mathew and Jennifer Stephens of Filer, Idaho and Kurt and Diana Stephens of Greybull; brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Kim Palmer of Findlay, Ohio; three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Janet and Bill Bird of Elyria, Ohio, Carol Castillo of Mercedes, Texas, and Helen and Carl Shinn of McCutchenville, Ohio; brother-in-law Lee and Laura Stephens of Albuquerque, N.M.; sister-in-law, LeMar and Tom Campbell of Sycamore, Ohio, and seven grandchildren, Brett, Bailee, Kendall, Kylin, Cheyenne, Zane and Carson.
A private family interment will be held at Whaley Cemetery east of Greybull at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to Washakie Public Library, c/o Bryant Funeral Home, Box 524, Worland, WY 82401.