GOSHEN, Ind.-Ruth B. Bauman, 88, died Friday, March 23, at 10 p.m. at Greencroft Healthcare where she lived less than 12 hours after being moved from Goshen Hospital where she was admitted on March 18.
She was born Nov. 15, 1923, to Norman and Ella (Shoup) Bauman near Gettysburg, Pa. When she was 18 months old, the family moved to her mother's home area in Columbiana County, Ohio.
After high school graduation she worked two years to enter Goshen College. After graduation with an elementary education degree, she taught in the Leetonia (Ohio) Schools to pay off her college debt. Later she received a master's degree in teaching reading from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.
In the fall of 1950 she went to Ethiopia as a volunteer under the Mennonite Relief and Service Committee to teach two years in the Hailie Salassie School for Girls. In the fall of 1952 she went to the Mara Hills School in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) where she taught children of missionary and other expatriate parents. During those three years she was profoundly impacted by the East Africa Revival.
She returned to her parental home, teaching in the Leetonia School system and helping to take care of her failing mother. In the early 60s she had a corneal transplant. She wore both contact lenses and forward glasses for much of her life.
After her mother's death in 1970, at the urging of a high school friend, she went to Liberia under the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. (The Mennonite Board of Missions had no openings for her.) For four years she taught children of missionary and other expatriate parents in the Campus School at Cuttington College and Hospital.
After a year in Ohio she went to Nazareth, Israel to teach missionary children under the Mennonite Board of Missions. After several years there, her Liberian friends invited her to return to teach in the Campus School where she spent six more years. The Lutherans gave Ruth an appreciation for people of a different background, an appreciation for liturgy, and broadened her worldview.
Ruth retired and moved to Ohio where she lived with and helped care for an elderly uncle for seven years. During this time she served as a teacher in her church, served as an elder for several years, and served on the church council. In 1990 her uncle moved to a retirement home and she moved to Greencroft. She enjoyed visiting in Healthcare, reading books and devotional materials to residents and fed residents in Healthcare, usually four times a week.
Ruth was a member of Faith Mennonite Church, though she attended the early service at East Goshen Mennonite Church for a number of years. She enjoyed reading, working on her computer and sending emails. She wrote of her personal pilgrimage as a missionary teacher using letters she sent to her parents who saved them.
Ruth is survived by her brother, Harold (Carolyn W. Hertzler) Bauman and three nephews, Philip (Connie) Bauman, Goshen, John (Susan Ebersole) Bauman, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., and David Bauman, Lancaster, Pa.; and a niece, Rebecca (Jeanne Keenan) Bauman, South Pasadena, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Norman Bauman Jr.; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hershberger Bauman; and a grandnephew, Jeffrey Bauman.
There will be visitation for Greencroft residents 2 to 3 p.m., Friday at The Meetinghouse, Greencroft and for other friends, 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, at Assembly Meetinghouse, 1201 S. 11th Street, Goshen, where a 3 p.m., Saturday memorial service will be held.
Burial of her cremains will be in Midway Mennonite Cemetery, Columbiana, Ohio, at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Mission Network, Faith Mennonite Church or Greencroft Foundation.
Yoder-Culp Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent to www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.