Mary Elizabeth Fruth passed away on July 7, 2015. She was born January 25, 1914 near Broadway, Virginia, to Noah Christian and Mary Gertrude Schaeffer Wine. She was a graduate of Broadway High School and she grew up as a part of the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren.
Mary left her home at age 22 to study music at Bethany Bible School in Chicago, Illinois, where she met Glenn John Fruth of Vanlue, Ohio. Mary and Glenn were married on June 19, 1938 and they enjoyed 61 years of marriage.
Mary was a homemaker who worked alongside Glenn in the ministries of the Churches of the Brethren they served: Deshler, Ohio; Woodland, Michigan; Quinter, Kansas; Sabetha, Kansas; El Cajon, California; Cando, North Dakota; and Brooklyn, Iowa; and several interim pastorates in Kansas. She also worked as a nurse’s aide.
The Fruth family sponsored several refugee families in the 1950’s and they hosted a German exchange student, Michael Ziemann, in 1962-63 in their Quinter home. The Fruth home was always open and Mary, ever a generous hostess, never knew how many extra would be at the dinner table. Mary and Glenn retired first to Abilene, Kansas, and later to Quinter, Kansas, where Glenn died in 2000. In 2006, Mary moved to The Cedars in McPherson, Kansas. She enjoyed music, word games and time with her family.
“The gift of music is a gift from God.” Music has always been an important thread in Mary’s life, from her home church, encouragement to study music at Bethany, participation in church choirs and community groups, and enjoying music at McPherson College and McPherson Church of the Brethren. Her life has been enriched by her loving family, a wide circle of friends, and a strong faith.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband Glenn, one sister: Ruth Lantz, and three brothers, Paul, Mark and Carl Wine; two grandchildren: Debby Gillaspie and Matthew Miller, and one great grandchild, Elizabeth Fruth.
Mary’s family includes her children and spouses: David (Bonnie) Fruth, McPherson, KS; Galen (Judy) Fruth, Wichita, KS; Lois (Bill) Grove, Council Bluffs, IA; Eunice (Roger) Gillaspie, Moundridge, KS; and Pearl (Phil) Miller, Warrensburg, MO; Eight grandchildren: David Fruth, Derby, KS; Karie Popp, Hoxie, KS; Carrie Johnson, Council Bluffs, IA; Sharrie Semadeni, Fort Collins, CO; Tim Grove, Waukesha, WI; Julie Huber, Wichita, KS; Rahila Weed, Warrensburg, MO, and Seth Miller, Kansas City, MO. Thirteen great-grandchildren: Caleb and Micah Fruth, Alyssa and Riley Popp, Alex, Andrew and Catie Semadeni, Peter and Marie Johnson, Isaiah Grove, Dylan and Madison Huber, and Quentin Weed.
A memorial service will be held in McPherson at The Cedars Conference Center on Sunday, July 19, at 2:00 p.m. Memorial donations may be designated for The Cedars, Quinter Church of the Brethren, or McPherson Church of the Brethren in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 N. Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460 To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Mary E. Fruth please visit our Sympathy Store.