Emma Ruth Cooke, age 93 of Franklin, Indiana passed away Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 8:40 am, in the Franklin United Methodist Community.
Born May 25, 1923 in Danville, Indiana, she was the daughter of the late James Everett and Lumna Elva (Charles) Bagshaw. She graduated from Pekin High School in 1943 and attended the New Albany Business School.
During World War II, she went to Washington D.C. to work with the military doctors in identification and repatriation of deceased soldiers to their families. She then attended Norton Hospital Nursing School and began her career in 1948 as a nurse to Dr. Huckleberry for 24 years. This was the beginning of her generous habit of volunteering. She became a true servant to this community, including after-hours calls to many of Dr. Huckleberry’s patients.
As a member of the Salem united Methodist Church, she volunteered her time to serve on countless committees. She was the Nursery Class teacher for 52 years and a a member of the Southern Indiana Council of the National Girl Scouts, she had her own Brownie Scout Troop in Salem. She supported the Washington County Historical Society during the years of it’s flourishing period of growth and the building of it’s museum; 1966 -1970.
As a member of the Beta Tau Chapter of Tri Kappa, she was awarded the Honorary Membership Award in 2001 for 44 years as a volunteer. During these years, she coordinated volunteers to help in tornado and flood relief through the Red Cross Organization. In 1999, she received the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Achievement Award. In 2001, she was awarded the James A. Kramer Pitman Volunteer of the Year Award in Red Cross in Washington and Clark Counties, as Director of Disaster Relief and Blood Drives.
Working with children was perhaps her greatest joy, as she helped them expand their horizons of learning in any way she could. She helped individuals in need, as well, especially young people, with the simple gesture of providing them with the funds to purchase dress clothes for their high school graduation ceremonies. Ruth continued her service to her community until she retired to the Franklin United Methodist Community, in 2008. She touched unaccountable numbers of people by giving of her time. She once remarked, “I’m happier when I help others”. In her elder years, she was an avid rose gardener…still giving her time to living things.
Ruth married August 8, 1970 to Walter E. Cooke, who passed away November 26, 2001. Survivors include: Nephew: Bryce Floyd, Campbellsburg and 3 Nieces: Donalee Beld, Crestwood, Kentucky, Valarie Bundy, Arcadia, Indiana and Elana Floyd-Kennett, Carbondale, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and sister, Martha Floyd.
Funeral Service: 11:00 am Saturday at Dawalt Funeral Home
Visitation: 10 am until the time of the service Saturday at Dawalt Funeral Home. Interment at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions: Washington County Community Foundation 1707 North Shelby Street, Suite 100 Salem, Indiana 47167.