A Lying-in state for Ruth Olive Eagleman, 81, Lawrence, KS will be held from 10:00 ~ 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Please be aware that due to COVID-19 and safety precautions, we are asking her loved ones to please respect and comply with social distancing and must wear a mask.
A second Lying-in state will be held from 9:00 ~ 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at Arsulowicz Brother’s Mortuary in Grand Rapids, MI, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial starting at 10:00 am. also at the mortuary in Grand Rapids, MI. Ruth will be buried at Holy Childhood of Jesus Catholic Cemetery in Harbor Springs, MI. Ruth passed away Thursday, September 17, 2020 at Restwell in Oskaloosa, KS.
Ruth was born on January 31, 1939 in Harbor Springs, MI, the daughter of Samson and Cecilia (Nenagos) Leo. She is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa. Her family relocated to Grand Rapids, MI where she attended St. Alphonsus School and graduated from Catholic Central High School. The strength of her faith is one of her most memorable traits. She was a true Grand Rapids girl, who spoke often of her childhood friends and parochial school experiences.
She traveled to California after her high school graduation to live and work in a brand-new place. She met Chester Eagleman, while he was in the Navy, in Los Angeles, CA during a church social. They married on June 10, 1961 in Denver, CO. They were married for 59 years.
Ruth worked her entire life. Her occupations included key-punch operator for a truck-line company, cashier at Daane’s and Meijer’s grocery stores, and a year-long stint as a school bus driver for the Grand Rapids Public Schools. She was an employee of General Motors in Grand Rapids and Coopersville, MI until her retirement. She was a life-long advocate for Indian People and was active in the formation of the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council.
Ruth enjoyed playing softball as an adult with her older sister, pitching for teams that her brother coached. She was an avid bowler, bowling for leagues in Michigan, Billings, MT and in Virginia. Her husband and her youngest daughter enjoyed traveling to and participating in BIA bowling tournaments. She was well-known in the powwow world as “Ruby”, traveling all over the country and parts of Canada with her daughters. She made many friends throughout her travels, and was known for her smile, her laugh, and her adventurous spirit. A favorite memory of her family is when she jumped into a women’s golden age fancy shawl and jingle dress contest in Jacksonville, FL in 1994 and placed 3rd. Her daughters brought her out into the arena as a traditional dancer in 2003.
Ruth is survived by oldest son, Chester Eagleman, Jr., Grand Rapids, MI, her daughters; Shelley (Joseph) Eagleman-Bointy, Lawrence, KS and Sharon Eagleman, Lawrence, KS, She is also survived by her brother, Norman J. Leo, sister, Rosalee StarChief, five grandchildren; Shelby, Sara, Gordon, Samantha, Joey, and great-grandchildren Jayden and Ni’vy. Her adoptive daughters are Allison Davenport, Tama, IA, Makyla King, Lawrence, KS, and adoptive son Elwood Ott, Lawrence, KS. Ruth is survived by a host of special friends; Loretta Antoine, Cedar Rapids, MI, Kaye Dyer, Aurora, CO, Sylvia Chingwa, Denver, CO, Marty Wysocki, Grand Rapids, MI, Elaine Sanford, Grand Rapids, MI, and Yvonne Shields, Mesa, AZ.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.