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McPherson, Kansas – Ruth L. Walker Cooney (CC ’47) went to be with the Lord on February 19, 2021, in the presence of family at The Cedars in McPherson, Kansas. Ruthie, as family and friends called her, was born on October 22, 1929, in Ottawa, Kansas to Lloyd and Maude Walker. She had an older brother, C.W., that they called “Bud”. Ruth’s mother was ahead of her time as the owner of Walker’s Paint and Wallpaper store. The family attended and were actively involved in the Ottawa Free Methodist Church. Ruth was given the opportunity to attend Central Christian High School in McPherson which set the course for the rest of her life. At Central, she met Henry Cooney, the love of her life. They married in September of 1947 and settled in McPherson. Henry and Ruth were parents to 4 daughters, Linda, Debra, Kim, and Jill. Ruth was a wonderful homemaker and the girls were frequently dressed alike in clothing sewn by Ruthie. The Free Methodist Church was an integral part of the family’s life. So were the members of the church as Ruth and family spent time camping, traveling, entertaining, and just loving their church friends. Ruth sang in the choir and joined many committees; she and the family were active members of the congregation. She’s also remembered as the manager of the Tiger Den snack bar at Central College. College students over many years enjoyed her homemade donuts.
Once Henry and Ruth both retired, they spent many years traveling in RVs with the Craftsmen for Christ. These years of ministry were among the most wonderful, cherished years of their lives. After their traveling days were over, the couple moved to The Cedars where they enjoyed many happy years. After Henry’s passing in 2013 and living on her own, Ruth was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2019. She lived the remainder of her life at The Cedars, where she was loved by all because of the joy and fun she brought to everyone she encountered.
Ruth is survived by daughters Linda Pharr (Tom), Plano, TX; Debra Wagoner (Alan), and Kim Johnson, McPherson; and Jill Kennedy (Mark), Lewisville, TX. Henry and Ruth had 10 grandchildren Lindsay Macedo, Lance Arnott, Sarah Hendricks, Andy Wagoner, Amanda Walbaum, Cody Johnson, Jason Pecho, Jensen Yancey, Haleigh Yancey, and Reid Yancey; 14 great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Ruthie will be greatly missed by her family and many lifelong friends. They will miss her wit and humor, her kind words, her laugh, and her smile.
The family will have a memorial service at a later date. Memorial donations may be given to Central Christian College or the McPherson Free Methodist Church in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.
ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS
Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about who Central is go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.