Ruthanne Lacey

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.


7 Condolences

  1. Sandy Finley Blauert on September 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I have so many wonderful memories of Aunt Ruthanne…including her wedding(played toothpicks with Kenny). Many visits to Lawrence and through the years…loved her and her mid-west accent, but most of all her loving heart and sense of humor. I look forward to seeing her again with Uncle Chuck and the rest of the family having a great time in heaven.

  2. Peggy Benally on September 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Want to thank her family for allowing me and my coworkers on the Arbor the pleasure of knowing her and the honor of taking care of her. I have warm memories of Ruth Anne and her smile. I will remember her always! God bless! Peggy Benally

  3. Alexia (Lacey) Burgeson on September 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

    She was the Best grandmother a child could ever hope or dream of having in their life! Her love for people will forever be engraved in our hearts. Thanks to all who cared for her until the end!

  4. Bob Moore Family on September 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Bruce and Jean…

    What a fabulous lady! And what a great backdoor neighbor!! Many memories of birthdays, holidays, purple martin parties, and of course, Pig and Lucifer! Also, the garage band, and the old Desoto. We are thinking about you guys and sending our love.

  5. Bob Moore Family on September 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Bruce and Jean…

    What a fabulous lady! And what a great backdoor neighbor!! Many memories of birthdays, holidays, purple martin parties, and of course, Pig and Lucifer! Also, the garage band, and the old Desoto. We are thinking about you guys and sending our love.

  6. Anne Leaf on September 21, 2012 at 6:29 am

    I was honored to work with Ruthanne at LMJ for many years. she hired me – twice – and gave encouragement and support. She was always smiling – I called her Lady Bug because she brought me good luck. I’ve since moved away but will always remember my good friends in Lawrence. My sympathies to all the family . Remember a life well spent.

  7. Bruce & Jeane Johnson on September 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Ruthanne (and Charles)were terrific traveling companions–to Australia, Mexico, Indiana, and many weekends. Such fun we had together.

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