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Obituary - Ruth Housden-Canfield

Ruth Darlene Housden-Canfield was born November 2, 1940 to Earl Hall and Ruby Helms Hall at the home of her grandparents, Grover and Selma Helms, in Newburg, Mo. Ruth passed from this life May 6, 2020 at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. She resided in Rolla. Ruth was 79.
Ruth grew up in Licking, attending grade school through high school. Following graduation in 1958, she attended Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, taking general study courses. She later attended SMSU Springfield campus and took courses through the Missouri Department of Conservation.
During a visit home from college, she met her future husband, Robert Allen Housden, who happened to be visiting family in Licking. They were married December 31, 1960 and she moved to St Louis. To that union, two daughters were born, Robin Celeste, 1962 and Rachel Benet’, 1966.
Ruth’s first job was in a movie theater; selling tickets, running concessions and operating the projector. In St Louis she worked for a temp agency doing secretarial, clerical and modeling work, despite not liking her picture taken, because she thought she wasn’t pretty. She worked for a time on Fort Leonard Wood in the commanding general’s office. At George White tree nursery Ruth enjoyed planting and caring for the trees. It was hard work, but Ruth spoke of the camaraderie with her co-workers. She worked at Rawlings Sporting Goods and Lee Jeans. Ruth worked at Springfield Mercy Hospital as a nurse’s aide in ICU. While there, she was especially thrilled to witness a doctor performing open heart surgery, and holding a beating heart in his hands.
Ruth was always learning. She kept textbooks from her college days at Bolivar and SMSU and referred to them often. She studied many subjects, but her particular interests were theater and public debate. She was a season ticket holder to Leach Theatre in Rolla. Crossword puzzles kept her mind sharp and Jeopardy! kept her on her toes. We all learned not to call Ruth during Jeopardy! She enjoyed symphonies and bluegrass music, but would listen to most anything. Her library is filled with books, from the classics to science fiction. She enjoyed watching old movies, the original Star Trek series and anything starring Jimmy Stewart. It’s a Wonderful Life was her favorite movie. She never missed a Cardinals baseball game. July 4th and Christmas were her favorite holidays.
Growing up with her sister and brother, they had many pets, including at least one squirrel. Ruth carried that childhood love of animals into adulthood. She had many beloved cats and dogs. I’m sure everyone remembers Calypso the Afghan hound. She contributed to several animal welfare causes, including the Humane Society and the ASPCA. She also cared deeply about the issues facing veterans.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; and her sister, Deanna Cooper. She is survived by her brother, James Douglas “JD” Hall; daughters, Robin Jacobs and Rachel Romine; nephews Steven and William Cooper, and Doug Hall; and niece Kathy Moore; great nephew, Bradley Cooper; great, great niece and nephew Dalis and Peyton Cooper; and many other Hall and Helms relatives.
Visitation will be at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, at Fox Funeral Home in Licking with Celebration of Life service following at 12:30 p.m. Ruth was cremated according to her wishes and a private family burial will be held at a later date. Please, no flowers or plants. Make a donation to veterans, animal causes or your favorite charity.  Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at www.foxfh.net 


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