Ruth Ann Theobald went to be with her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, on Thursday, March 5, 2020, in her home at the Robinhood Estates of Grace Village Retirement Community in Winona Lake, Ind., at the age of 90.
Ruth Ann was born on September 23, 1929 in Des Moines, Iowa, to Richard and Areta Adams.
She attended Bryan College, where she met her first husband of 22 years, George E. Cone. Ruth Ann graduated from Wheaton College in 1951. She and George were married shortly thereafter on June 21, 1951.
For 22 years George and Ruth Ann served the Lord as missionaries in the Central African Republic with the international missions agency of the Grace Brethren Church. Along the way, God gave George and Ruth Ann five children. She was widowed in 1973 when George died of cancer while teaching Greek at Grace College and Seminary. Ruth Ann completed the raising of her five children on her own, teaching English and French at Lakeland Christian Academy and Grace College.
From 1979 to 1981, Ruth Ann took her two youngest children to Germany where she served as a teacher at the Black Forest Academy in Kandern.
After her youngest child graduated from high school, Ruth Ann returned to Europe, where she served with the Grace Brethren Church in Lyon, France, for ten years.
Ruth Ann married Sterling Theobald, of St. Louis, Mo., on January 7, 1995, at the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church. Earlier this year, with their family surrounding them in love, Sterling and Ruth Ann, affectionately known as “Opa” and “Oma” by her family, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Over their 25 years of marriage, Sterling and Ruth Ann had many adventures together hiking mountains in Colorado, visiting children in Africa and Europe, as well as relatives in Taiwan, and traveling all over the United States and Canada to see family, friends, and all the sights along the way. On these long trips, they delighted in memorizing and reciting long passages of Scripture, singing hymns, and praying for their family. In more recent years, Ruth Ann became an avid fan of Grace College’s soccer and basketball teams. She was devoted to the work of sharing the Gospel with the nations. Ruth Ann’s family is grateful that “Oma” has now seen her Lord face-to-face. Her entire life was one long pilgrimage in that direction.
Ruth Ann will be remembered as an irrepressibly positive, adventuresome, joyful follower of Christ. To all who knew her, she was an example of faith and of faithful service. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Sterling Theobald (Winona Lake, Ind.); two sons: Kim (Jan) Cone (Plymouth, Ind.); Kip (Mary) Cone (Winona Lake, Ind.); three daughters: Camille (Larry) Robbins (Dallas, Tex.); Karisse (Paul) Moore (Mt. Vernon, Wash.); Calla (Marc) Andrews (Warsaw, Ind.); one step son: Paul (Jodi) Theobald (Richland Center, Wis.); one step son-in-law: Bruce Cook (St. Louis, Mo.); two step daughters: Ruth (Tom) Probst (Waukesha, Wis.); Mary Hunter (Allenspark, Co.); 18 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, her two brothers and sisters-in-law, and one stepdaughter, Cheryl Cook.
Friends and family are invited to visit 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Ind. There will also be time for visitation prior to the service at the church on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Ruth Ann’s life will be celebrated with a service at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, 1200 Kings Highway, Winona Lake, and officiated by Pastor Bruce Barlow and her son, Pastor Kip Cone. Burial will follow with a graveside service at Oakwood Cemetery of Warsaw, Ind.
Memorial donations may be designated to Encompass World Partners, Box 3298, Monument, CO 80132-3298; or to Grace College, 200 Seminary Drive, Winona Lake, Indiana 46590 and would be appreciated by the family.