Ruthanne Finley Lacey, 87, Lawrence, KS, died September 14, 2012, at The Arbor at Brandon Woods at Alvamar in Lawrence.
She was born Ruth Ann Finley on January 14, 1925, in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, to Edgar Hugh and Blanche West Finley. She attended Cottonwood Falls schools and graduated from Chase County Community High School in 1942. She was a member of the United Methodist Church there, which was founded by her great-grandparents in 1859, where she played piano for the Sunday School. After high school, she worked one year as a telephone switchboard operator to earn money for college.
Ruthanne first noticed her future husband, Charles E. Lacey, as the piano player at a dance while attending Kansas State University. She studied Business Administration and Home Economics, and later Charles would say theirs was the most economical home he’d ever been in. They married August 10, 1947, a Kansas day so hot all the candles melted before they could be lit.
In 1948, they moved to Lawrence, where Charles was with Centron Films. Ruthanne was a homemaker and mother, and later Office Manager at Landreth, McGrew, and Johnson Insurance, and then Charlton Manley Insurance.
Ruthanne was a devoted Christian and her faith helped to carry her through the loss of her father when she was child, and the difficult family losses that came later in her life (daughter, sister, husband, and son). She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for over 63 years, and was actively involved in a multitude of church activities.
She joined Alpha Delta Pi sorority while at K-State, and continued that membership with the KU chapter. She was a longtime member of Chapter EA of the P.E.O Sisterhood.
She touched many people’s lives through her volunteer efforts in Lawrence, aiding and abetting many local organizations including the PTA (Cordley), Meals-On-Wheels, L.I.N.K., Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Planned Parenthood, and the Spencer Museum of Art, among others.
Ruthanne was an avid golfer, swimmer, bridge player, music lover, and an excellent and adventurous cook. She traveled extensively, loved fine art, and collected and restored antiques.
Those who knew her will remember her as a warm, energetic woman who loved people. She was always eager to be involved, and brought a positive spirit, her smile, and a great sense of humor to every situation.
Survivors include a daughter, Jean Pollock (Jim), Middleboro, Massachusetts; a son, Bruce (Joani), San Anselmo, California; a daughter-in-law, Sharylyn Gelvin Lacey, McPherson; a son-in-law and daughter-in-law, Jim and Barbara Pendleton, Germantown, Tennessee; and an “adopted” son, Pao Ko Lin (Nora), Naperville, Illinois. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Marilyn Pendleton in 1994, her husband, Charles, in 2002, and a son, Phil, in 2007. She leaves 11 loving grandchildren (“Mamaw” was there to assist and advise for the first week of each of their lives), their spouses, and 6 great-grandchildren.
Ruthanne fought a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The family wishes to express deep gratitude to Ruthanne’s longtime friend, Sally Davis, who also served as her advocate through her decline; and to the highly capable and loving staff of both The Arbor at Brandon Woods and Grace Hospice.
A memorial service is planned for 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. Private family inurnment will be in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence.
The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society or First Presbyterian Church, Lawrence, sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.