BELLVILLE, Ohio: A staunch Democrat, Ruth Snavely collected donkeys. She collected donkeys made of wood, ceramic, cloth and stone. With dozens and dozens of the political party mascot figures and figurines in her collection, she earned an interesting an unusual nickname:
Affectionately named "Grandma Donkey", Ruth passed away Wednesday morning, July 14, 2010 surrounded by her family, in MedCentral Mansfield, Ohio Hospital. She was 85.
Born Ruth Ellen Freeman on February 27, 1925 in Bellville, Ohio she was the daughter of Glenn and Doris (Saul) Freeman, and was a 1943 graduate of Bellville High School.
On January 16, 1953 she married Gerald R. Snavely, and together they remained lifelong Bellville residents.
They owned and operated Snavely Quality Eggs before she accepted a position with Therm-O-Disc, from which she retired in 1985.
Socially active in Bellville, Ruth was a member of Fun-n-Friendship Club, Bellville-Jefferson Township Historical Society, Honeycreek Samaritan Club, the Jefferson Grange, and took part in the community's Hee Haw Show.
She was active with the Lexington Senior Civic Center where she sang with the choral group and was imaginative with the creative writing group.
Ruth was a member of NewLife Church of Christ, where she had taught Sunday school and helped for years with vacation Bible school.
A 4H leader for years, Ruth enjoyed crocheting, and made countless afghans that she gifted to others ~ a reflection of her generous heart. Her family will miss her homemade pies ~ of course with homemade crusts ~ some with crumb toppings, some cream pies, some fruit pies, but none quite like her cherry pies.
Ruth had a strong work ethic, and a strong and active love for her family and friends: she was a lively grandmother…and that great grandson was the light of her life.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Howard & Bonnie Snavely of Mansfield, Ohio, her daughter and son-in-law, Gail & Mike Hreha of Fairport Harbor; grandchildren, Jenny Snavely and Josh Snavely; a great grandson Dominick Snavely; her sister, Dorothy Spencer of North Ft. Myers, Florida; her brother (whom she helped raise) and sister-in-law, Mark & Linda Freeman of Lexington, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Lena Freeman and Judy Freeman both of Bellville; a brother-in-law, Russell Miller of Galion, Ohio; and beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald R. Snavely in 1978; an infant son; brothers, John Freeman and Truman Freeman; and a sister, Helen Miller.
The Snavely family will receive friends Friday, July 16, 2010 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home, where her funeral service will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. Pastor Dan Noe will officiate. Burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.
Contributions in Ruth's memory are suggested to Bellville-Jefferson Township Historical Society or Visiting Nurses Association and may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Snavely family, and private condolences to them may be made online at: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com