Ruth Marie Kirkman, long-time resident of Perry, died peacefully of natural causes Oct. 28 in Iowa City, surrounded by family. Services in celebration of her life will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at First United Methodist Church in Perry. Burial will be in Violet Hill Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 with the family receiving friends from 5–7 p.m. Thursday evening at Murdock Funeral Home.
Ruth was born in Washington Township Nov. 10, 1917, the daughter of Maggie Booth Harrison and Richard Harrison. She graduated from Washington Township High School in 1934 and then lived in Perry until moving to Iowa City in December, 2011, to be nearer her daughter.
She helped her first husband, Leslie Martinie, with his farm business, even driving trucks long distances to Chicago. She is, however, best known as a superior seamstress, work she did until her retirement. She continued to sew for the family after that and also enjoyed a wide variety of crafts.
She golfed and was a prize-winning bowler for many years. She was always eager for any card game, a walk in the park or a dance.
She, along with her husband, Clyde Kirkman, were huge sports fans, following Perry teams for decades. They were recognized for their support of generations of young people by being named Perry High School’s honorary Homecoming King and Queen in 1997. It was noted that they were honored because of the "continuous encouragement they have shown to our activities."
She was a long time member of the Perry First United Methodist Church, where she sang out with joy and served on many committees.
She is survived by her three daughters: Barbara (Dick) Roberts of Sedona, Ariz., Maxine Martinie of Ashland, Ore. and Karen Kay (David) Drake of Iowa City; her grandchildren: Cindy Hutt Stipp, Teri Hutt Dozal, Michelle Alex and Megan Drake and her great grandchildren: Mackenzie, Taylor and Lauren Stipp and Kiley Hutt, and Bryson and Kiana Mills. Extended family includes Pam (Mark) Marcum, Rick (Sue) Roberts and Scott (Kelly), Kevin (Lori) and Dan (Jenny) Drake and their families. Her sister-in law Fern Harrison also survives her.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Ralph, LeRoy, Harold, Paul and Dale Harrison and her sister Dorothy Harrison Boyer.
The family would like to extend thanks to the staff of Briarwood Health Care Center of Iowa City and Essence Hospice for their kind and loving care.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Ruth’s name to the Perry Community School Foundation, Inc., Perry High School, 1200 18th Street, Perry, Iowa 50220.