Ruth Mary Fuller Larson, 103 / March 22, 1906 – Jan. 26, 2010

Published 1:57 pm Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ruth Mary Fuller Larson, 103

Ruth Mary Fuller Larson, 103

Ruth Mary Fuller Larson, 103, of Elkhart, Ind. died Jan. 26, 2010 at home.

She was born March 22, 1906 in Elkhart to Viola Harriett (Smith) and William Walter Fuller. She graduated from Elkhart High School in 1924 and worked at C.G. Conn Ltd. in statistical research until World War II; she also played alto saxophone in the C.G.Conn Ladies’ Band. She met Stanley A. Larson at Conn when he moved to Elkhart from Chicago as the advertising manager of Ludwig and Leedy drum companies when Leedy was bought by C.G.Conn. They married Sept. 28, 1934 at Grace Lutheran Church (Elkhart) and lived in Elkhart until 1942, when they moved to Cassopolis. He died Jan. 6, 1966.

She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Starlight Chapter No. 181, Elkhart since the 1930s and was an active member of Nu Chapter of Beta Chi Sorority from 1934 until her death.

Ruth became Cass County (Mich.) social welfare director in December 1957 and was named administrator of the Cass County Medical Care Facility from 1964 until she retired in January 1978. She received her certificate in hospital administration from Michigan State University in 1961. In 1962, she organized the Cass County Medical Care Facility Auxiliary and was a charter member until her death. She actively worked to get a new medical care facility built in Cass County during the 1970s, giving more than 200 speeches throughout the county. In 1977, a new facility was built and dedicated, where a plaque honoring her efforts is still displayed in the main lobby.

She was active in Michigan Business and Professional Women clubs and held local, state and district offices beginning in the late 1950s for almost 20 years. Among offices she held were president of Dowagiac Chapter, 5th and District and foundation chairman of the state chapter. She was a charter member of the Cass County Mental Health Services Board, serving as secretary and president during her years of membership.

She lived in Howell Point at Diamond Lake in Cassopolis from 1962 until 1990 when she moved back to Elkhart, and was secretary of the Howell Point Association for 25 years. She received numerous awards during her years of service including certificates of commendation from the Michigan Department of Mental Health and the American College of Nursing Home Administrators, Michigan Chapter and a recognition award for her “outstanding contributions in developing educational programs” for the organization.

She taught Sunday School at Cassopolis United Presbyterian Church for 20 years beginning in 1949. She was a member of United Presbyterian Church of Cassopolis and Grace Lutheran Church of Elkhart at the time of her death. She was an avid bridge player and was a member of several bridge clubs in Michigan and Indiana including St. Thomas Bridge-A-Rama.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Paul E Fuller, born 1902, and Marion E. Fuller, born 1909. Two nephews, Paul E. Fuller, Jr. and Thomas Fuller, also preceded her in death.

She is survived by one daughter, Jan Larson of Elkhart; three grandchildren; Catherine Fribley (Brittany Noethen) of Iowa City, Iowa, Allison (Darren) Anders of Goshen, Ind. and Brian (Jennifer) Fribley of Wadesville, Ind.; five great-grandchildren, Joshua Fribley-Anders, Courtney Anders, Dharma Jane Fribley, Amber Anders and Kyle Anders; one “adopted” daughter, Jane Sickman of Elkhart; a sister-in-law, Marion (Alice) Fuller of Elkhart; three nieces, Barbara Ann Weatherwax of Elkhart, Nancy Fuller Camp of Melbourne, Fla, and Barbara Ann (Ed) Vanderboer of Vicksburg, Mich.; one nephew, William K. (Pat) Fuller, of Breton, S.C. as well as several great nieces and nephews.

Friends called from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and an hour prior to the 2 p.m.
funeral Saturday at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart. Burial followed at Adamsville Cemetery, Adamsville, Mich.

Memorials may be given to the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, United Presbyterian Church of Cassopolis or Grace Lutheran Church of Elkhart. Visit to sign an online guestbook.