Ruth Joan Spencer, age 90, passed away on June 1, 2021 at Pacifica Senior Living in Ellensburg,
WA, where she had resided since February 2019. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM, Saturday,
August 28, 2021, at the United Methodist Church in Madison. Inurnment will follow at Graceland
Cemetery. A celebration of life luncheon will be held in the church dining room following the committal.
Ruth Joan Gist was born on March 16, 1931, in Presho, South Dakota, to Joseph Raymond and Gladys
(Leffler) Gist. When she was eight, the family moved to Madison, South Dakota where she attended the
Beadle Campus School associated with General Beadle State Teachers College. She graduated in 1949.
She attended General Beadle State Teachers College for a State Certificate then taught for two years in
Huron, South Dakota.
Next, she worked for Northwest Airlines in New York for six months before
returning to Madison, South Dakota. She then completed her degree in Education in 1955 and taught in
Madison until her retirement in 1993. She married Robert Richard Spencer in 1955 and had two sons.
She enjoyed traveling and visited 45 countries in her retirement.
Ruth is survived by her children Kirby Spencer and partner Debra Follansbee of Sierra Vista, AZ; Lee
(Kristy) Spencer of Ellensburg, WA; grandchildren Ryan (Samantha) Spencer of Ellensburg, WA and Katie
(Andrew) Horton of Puyallup, WA; three great grandchildren; brother Rodney (Doris) Gist of Sioux Falls,
SD and sister-in-law Edith Gist of Caldwell, ID and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert in 1986, her parents and her brother Kent Gist.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.
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