Passed on April 19, 2022
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ruth Sampson (nee Appleyard) on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 surrounded by loving family.
Ruth was born in Grassmere on July 3, 1921 to Robert and Amy Appleyard, the eldest of seven children; Ken, Bob, Isabelle, Ron, Jim and Doug. Ruth attended grades 1-8 at Rockwood School southeast of Stonewall. After completing grade 8, she stayed home to help raise her younger brothers and sister and help on the family farm.
Ruth was a career woman which was rare for her era. Her first job was for the Eaton’s Catalogue in 1947. In 1950 she became a telephone operator for the Stonewall Telephone System. She lived with several other ladies in what is now the McLeod Teahouse known back then as Miss King’s Apartments.
Ruth married Middie Lefebvre in June of 1957 moving to their newly purchased farm in Argyle. She left the telephone system to become a farmer’s wife. However in 1962, Mid fell ill and they were forced to sell the farm and move back to Stonewall. Mid passed in October of 1963. Ruth then returned to work at the Stonewall Telephone System where she remained until 1966 when the telephone office closed. Ruth then secured a job with the Manitoba Government as a telephone operator working out of the Norquay Building in Winnipeg. All government phone calls went through that office at the time. She held this job until 1984 when she retired. During this time Ruth met Mel Sampson of Winnipeg and they were married October of 1983.
In retirement, Mel and Ruth became avid snow birds travelling to Texas for 23 years where many lasting friendships were made. Every weekend they could be found tearing it up on the dance floor. Mel passed away in November of 2020.
Ruth always enjoyed baking, dancing, old time music, gardening and her flowers, playing cards and spending time with friends and family. Well past her 100th birthday, Ruth continued to live independently in her home at Lions Manor where she never missed an opportunity to visit with family and friends. Auntie Ruth could always be found busy in her own kitchen making her nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great great nieces and nephews a double batch of her famous twirlies, tarts, Rice Krispie cake and tapioca pudding! Well into her 90’s Auntie Ruth still enjoyed picking saskatoons and strawberries, which always became delicious pies and jams to be shared and enjoyed. Having lived over a century, Ruth shared many stories and memories of a different time. She often reflected on how simple tasks were hard work when she was a child; collecting eggs, building a homemade ice box or making homemade bread with her mom.
Ruth was 18 when the second world war broke out. She remembered a time of great stress and fear when her brother Ken went off to war. In 1949, Ruth remembered getting electricity at the farm in Grassmere. They couldn’t believe how bright the house and barn were! The radio played all day as it was their main source of entertainment. In 1979, Ruth got on her first airplane to fly to Toronto to visit her brother Doug and his family. This was something she never even dreamed was a possibility as a child.
Auntie Ruth was always up for an adventure and never stopped making plans and looking forward. Whether it was bowling with the ladies, having a good weekly card game with dear friends, going out for lunch, enjoying family dinners, and even heading to the lake at the age of 100 and enjoying some fresh caught pickerel. Ruth was very proud to reach the milestone of 100 years of age. She was very honoured when so many of her cherished friends and family were able to attend her 100th birthday parade.
Ruth was blessed with a sharp memory that never waivered. She could recall specific dates, people and events from her entire life and was sure to correct the rest of us when our memories were not quite so sharp.
She was predeceased by her husbands Middie Lefebvre and Mel Sampson; parents Robert and Amy Appleyard; brother Ken and wife Viola, brother Bob and wife Doreen, brother Ron, sister Isabelle and husband George Nichol; her nephew Allan and wife Kathy and nieces Lorna Baker and Debbie Legary.
Left to cherish her memory is her brother James and brother Doug (Bev), their daughter Rachelle (Colin); children Kristen, Ryan and Trevor and daughter Susan and her son Nathan. She is also remembered by nephew Glenn (Valerie) and their children Cheryl (Darcy), Lori (Jarrett), Sara (Kevin), Whitney (Billy), Kenzie and all their families. Niece Linda (David) Tyerman and daughter Kelly (Trevor) and daughters Brooke, Kate, Reese and McKenna, daughter Tricia (Shawn) and their children Shaelynn, Kale and Makenna. Nephew Dale Baker and his daughter Roberta, daughter Patricia (Travis) and their children Allison and Payton, son Michael (Marie-France) and their children Eden, Abigail and Jameson. Niece Linda (Ed) Tomczak (Lefebvre) and family, niece Gail Lefebvre, nephew Paul (Shelley) Lefebvre and family, Ruth’s sister-in-law Janice and family. As well her late brother Ken’s family and late sister Isabelle’s family, late nephew Allan’s family. Ruth will also be remembered by countless nieces, nephews, cousins, family and dear friends.
The family would like to thank Ken Loehmer, Selkirk Hospital, Stonewall Home Care Staff as well as Dr. Pinniger for their care and compassion shown to Ruth over the years.
A celebration of life with family and friends will be held at Grassmere later this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ruth may be made to CancerCare Manitoba.
Auntie Ruth taught all of us what determination, resilience and hard work looks like. Everyone who crossed her path instantly loved and adored her. Ruth was an inspiration to all who knew her. She loved each of us unconditionally and we were so very fortunate to be able to call her our Auntie Ruth.
My deepest sympathy to Ruth’s family. Ruth was a lovely lady and a very close friend of my parents (Arnold and Marion Henry). My parents enjoyed travelling with Mel & Ruth to Texas where they also enjoyed their winters. The four of them were always off to dances & fiddling contests. I enjoyed staying in touch with Ruth after my parents passed away, we always had a few laughs reminiscing. Ruth had an amazing memory. Both Mel and Ruth will be missed. Sincerely, Barb Brown
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