Ruth Anna Meacham, 87, of Wellsville went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday (Oct. 12, 2019) at the Hart Comfort House of Allegany County, surrounded by her loving family.
Ruth was born on Sept. 6, 1932 in Hartsville, the last child of Clarence L. and Lida (Woodworth) Payne. She was a 1951 graduate of Canisteo Central School. Ruth also graduated from Houghton College in 1970, having gone to college after she had six children.
Ruth taught school at Scio Central School and substituted in other districts in New York and Pennsylvania. After teaching, she worked at Rich Plan of Perry, followed by twenty years at Olean Advanced Products where she retired in 1998.
Over the years, Ruth was married to Thurlow Edwards, Ellsworth “Buster” Lingenfelter, Benny Baker, Samuel Prickett and Donald Meacham, all of whom predeceased her. On Oct. 10, 2012 she married Duane E. McGraw, who survives.
In addition to her husband Duane, Ruth is survived by her children, Judy (James) Emerson of Marion Center, Penn., David Edwards of Watervliet, Linda Hinkle of Ladson, S.C., Mark (Helen) Baker of Bristow, Va., and Robert (Tina) Lingenfelter of Wellsville; a “daughter” Kathy Winans of Wellsville, who was always willing to take her places or help her in many ways; a nephew Arlyn Smith of Wellsville, who spent a great deal of time growing up at her home and also helped her in later years, often checking to make sure she was “okay”; many grandchildren, great grandchildren, three great, great granddaughters, one great, great grandson, as well as many step-children, nieces and nephews all of whom were greatly loved.
In addition to her husbands, Ruth was predeceased in 1974 by a son, Zane Edwards; a grandson in 1975, Bradley James “BJ” Emerson; a granddaughter in 2000, Kayla Lingenfelter; four sisters, Carrie Payne and Elizabeth Payne, both infants, Bessie (Thurston) Granger and Mildred (Wilfred) Smith; three brothers, Charles Payne, Clarence Alson Payne, and Grover (Dorothy) Payne; and her son-in-law, Michael Hinkle, Sr., who was like a son to her.
Ruth was a Volunteer Chaplain at Wellsville Manor Care Center and Highland Park Rehabilitation and Nursing home for many years, where she also played the piano once or twice a week for the residents; she also conducted “hymn sings” at both facilities. Ruth served the children of the community as a Foster Grandparent at Wellsville Elementary School, where she was affectionately known as “Grandma Ruth.” Ruth played the organ for Faith Baptist Church in Yorks Corners for more than six years.
She attended Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wellsville, where she was very active, especially in their Bible studies and evangelism ministry.
Ruth enjoyed almost any music, reading, especially her Bible, doing word and jigsaw puzzles and embroidering. She was an excellent baker, known especially for her award-winning caramel apple pie and her sugar cookies. Ruth was most fulfilled when she was telling others about her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Ruth’s children have fond memories of family game nights, which has been a tradition for them since 2005. Many wonderful hours were enjoyed while completing puzzles or playing strategy games such as Catan. Ruth is credited as the Yahtzee Champion, having uncanny success in throwing multiple “yahtzees” during a game.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday (Oct. 16) from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wellsville. The funeral service will be on Thursday (Oct. 17) at 11 a.m. at the church with Pastor Willson officiating. Burial will be in Angelica at the Until the Day Dawn Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Baker-Swan Funeral Home, Wellsville.
Memorial contributions in Ruth’s name may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Evangelism Fund, 470 North Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895 or to Hart Comfort House of Allegany County, 141 East State Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.