She is survived by a sister, June Gettings; and three brothers, Van H. James, Harold James, and Mitchell James. She is also survived by her three children, Curtis of Bremerton, Wash., Phyllis (Spratlin) of Titus, Ala., and Shelley (Dawdy) of Denver, Colo.; and two sons-in-law, James Spratlin and Ken Dawdy. There are eight grandchildren, Terri Lively Boxell, Curtis Lee Lively Jr., William Robert (Rob) Lively, Wendy (Spratlin) Simmons, Tonia (Spratlin) Boyer, Camie (Spratlin) Clark, Kendra (Dawdy) Ackerman, and Kara (Dawdy) Esteban; and 10 great-grandchildren, Aleigha, Ari, Riley, Allison, Robbie Lee, Tyler, Brooklyn, Hayden, Elynna, and Baby Girl Esteban, due soon.
Ruth married William Leo Lively on March 25, 1939. Between 1941 and 1953, the Livelys welcomed their three children. During the early days of their marriage, Leo and Ruth lived in and around Catron, where Leo was a sharecropper. They moved to Dexter in 1951 where she lived until June 2009.
Ruth was reared in a Christian family. Her dad was an elder of the church at Kennett. She was baptized in to Christ in her early teen years and remained a faithful follower throughout her life. In 1951, she became a member of the Church of Christ in Dexter. During the 60+ years of her membership, she taught Bible classes, sang for weddings and funerals, visited shut-ins, and helped co-ordinate funeral meals. Recent years saw her supporting the Thursday school program, which brought her joy. She epitomized her biblical namesake, Ruth, who demonstrated passion and devotion to those who needed her. Ruth replied, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.'' (Ruth 1:16).
To know Ruth was a blessing. There was never a dull moment around her. She cherished family time, especially if spent singing praises to God. Granny was thrilled and proud to be a grandmother and great-grandmother, relishing her grandchildren's accomplishments with joy. She was always ready to hear about their latest adventures.
We'll miss her exclamations of "Oh my stars," after a funny story or startling moment. Though there will be no more waves out the kitchen window or "Lord willings" after each conversation, her legacy of service, love, and laughter lives on in those who knew her.
We invite you to celebrate Ruth's life this Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, 11 a.m., at the Dexter Church of Christ on One Mile Road.
Contributions may be sent to Children's Homes, Inc., 5515 Walcott Road, Paragould, Ark. 72450 or Faulkner University, 5345 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, Ala. 36109.