OBITUARY: Ruth Gail Preston

Ruth Gail Preston, 81, died Nov. 23, 2020, at Newton Presbyterian Manor.

She was born in Rural Elk County and grew up on a farm outside of Howard as one of nine children to Otis L and Hazel (Greenwood) Preston. She graduated from Howard High School in 1957 and worked at AT&T (Southwestern Bell) as a manager until she retired Dec. 31, 1991, with 31-plus years of service. She worked for Southwestern Bell in Howard, Kan.; Newton, Kan.; Hutchinson, Kan.; and finally, Wichita, Kan., before retiring. She then worked for a number of years part time at Anesthesia Billing, Inc. in Halstead, Kan., when she decided she was ready to enjoy her retirement.

Ruth was a long-time member of Salem United Methodist Church in Newton, Kan., where she was very active on various committees. Ruth loved her church, and her church family and friends were very important to her. Ruth’s passion was reading. She loved to read and has an extensive book collection. She enjoyed cooking and watching animals and nature outside her window. Ruth loved to travel with family and friends and had some wonderful adventures near and far, including to Jerusalem, Germany, Switzerland, and Rome.

Ruth’s caring nature made her a friend to so many. While she had no biological children of her own, she was a second mother to many of her younger siblings as well as her niece, Gail, and her great nephews, Gage and Jase. She became “Aunt Ruth” to many people whom loved her dearly. Ruth had a strong work ethic and lived her life with faith and integrity. Ruth enjoyed listening to classical music and church hymns.

Ruth is survived by her best friend and sister, Lorna Preston; niece, Gail (Jason) Marsh; brothers, Fred (Dorothy) Preston and Dennis Preston; sisters, Dorothy Walta and Sue (Marty) Wacker. She is also survived by eight nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Orvan and Dean Preston, and sisters, Joyce Lord and Norma Salisbury; and two nieces, Alison Sweet and Chelise Mitchell, and one nephew, Tom Walta

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private family committal service will be held in Greenwood Cemetery Newton, Kan., with The Reverend Ron Kite officiating.

Memorials may be made to Salem United Methodist Church, Good Shepherd Hospice or by donating a book to your favorite library in Ruth’s name.

Petersen Family Funeral Home is in charge of services.