Ruth Eileen Peters Sproul
Ruth Eileen Peters Sproul
  • February 4, 1921 - May 22, 2017
  • Virginia

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Ruth Eileen Peters Sproul died peacefully Monday May 22, 2017 at her home, Baldwin Park. She had been receiving hospice care for several weeks after a fall and broken hip earlier in the year.

Ruth was born in Wheeling, WV on February 4, 1921 to Herman Kenneth and Elsie May Summers Peters. While she was in high school her family moved to Staunton. She graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and attended Mary Baldwin College, graduating in 1943 with an A.B. degree in Speech and a minor in Art. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Wheeling and joined the church of the same name when she moved to Staunton. It was there she met and later married Dr. Alexander Erskine Sproul. At the time of their marriage, Erskine was a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Force. They moved extensively during the war years and afterward as he completed his medical training, finally settling back in Staunton in 1948.

In addition to raising their four sons, Ruth was very active in the community. At church she taught Sunday School, Adult Bible Classes, and programs at monthly meetings of Presbyterian Women. As an Elder of the church she completed her last term on the Session at age 93. She was a faithful alumna of Mary Baldwin College and received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1990, recognizing unselfish service, noble character, and spiritual qualities. She was a member of the American Association of University Women, The Thursday Morning Music Club, and a book club that has met for the past 25 years. She also served on the boards of Effie Ann Johnson Day Nursery and the Community Child Care Center. She visited shut-ins, delivered Meals on Wheels and volunteered at SACRA. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother and the mother and grandmother of Eagle Scouts.

Ruth was also an accomplished artist, working in several media. In addition to her college minor in Art she had additional studies at James Madison University, Piedmont Community College, and Beverley Street Studio School. She was a Studio Art Instructor at Stuart Hall from 1967 to 1970. She was on the board of the Staunton Augusta Art Center for more years than any other member to date. She exhibited at Art in the Park and at CoArt Gallery and her work adorns many homes in Staunton and the wider world.

Ruth was an enthusiastic student of world religions and spirituality. She relished sharing philosophical ideas, religious concepts, and quotes from her favorite poems with those around her. A trip to Turkey, during which she attended a performance of Whirling Dervishes, left her with a profound interest in Sufi religion and the poetry of Rumi. She led many a spirited discussion among friends and family about those topics.

She was predeceased by her husband of 67 years, by her parents, and by her older brother George Thomas Peters of Goleta, CA. She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law: Alexander Erskine Sproul, Jr. and Drury Gaulding Sproul, James Mason Sproul and Kathleen Baker Sproul, George Thomas Sproul and Sharon Hanger Sproul, David Alexander Sproul and Robin Vierbuchen Sproul. She has seven grandchildren: Benjamin Alexander Sproul (Allyson Shankland Sproul), Elaine Miller Sproul (David Michael Szymanski), Amy Grace Baker Sproul, Eric Alexander Sproul (Marie Byrd Sproul), Emily Lupton Sproul, Catherine Ruth Sproul, Anna Love Sproul-Latimer (Matthew Nels Latimer), and ten great grandchildren: Vega Alexander Sproul, Jude Nimmo Sproul, Gabriel Drury Sproul, Leo David Sproul, Carter Samuel Cox, Andrew Erskine Cox, Margaret Lupton Cox, Eleanor Elisabeth Cox, John Timothy David Latimer and Lucy Robin Theodora Latimer.

Burial will be private. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 pm on June 29, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, Staunton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah, The Staunton Augusta Art Center, SACRA or Meals on Wheels.

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