Ruth Lanette (Lewis) Dickinson, age 94, of Baldwin City, KS, transitioned Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence, KS.
Ruth was born February 9, 1929, in Georgetown, TX, the daughter of Robert Bracy Lewis and Willie Anthem (Harrison) Lewis. She grew up in Georgetown, TX, graduating as Salutatorian of Georgetown High School in the class of 1948. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theatre in 1950 from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. She later completed graduate work at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS.
On June 2, 1950, Ruth was united in marriage to Calvin Hendrix Dickinson at the Evangelical Free Church in Georgetown, TX. They shared forty-seven years of loving marriage until the death of Calvin in 2007.
Ruth was a passionate and dedicated educator for over 40 years who provided an excellent learning environment for her students, developing lifelong friendships with many of them. After beginning her teaching career in Texas, Ruth and her family moved to Kansas in 1961, where she taught kindergarten through high school. Additionally she taught at Fort Scott Community College and at the Fort Riley Adult High School. English literature and Theatre were her passions, and she directed innumerable high school plays throughout her career.
As the wife of an ordained United Methodist minister, Ruth moved with her family from Kansas community to Kansas community while she maintained her teaching career. Ruth was a trailblazer for women who wanted both a family and career in the 1950's and 60's, and she always found time to dedicate herself to her family, church, and community.
Ruth and her husband Calvin retired to Baldwin City in 1991, where she continued to be in service to her church and community. She was a member of the Baldwin First United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, A.A.U.W., P.E.O., Tuesday Reading Club, Baldwin City Arts Council, and Friends of the Library. Ruth always had an active role in the Baldwin First United Methodist Church, volunteering in many capacities for the next 32 years. As she experienced more challenges in mobility in the last few years, she continued to lead a Bible study group in the living room of the family home.
Ruth was an avid reader across a wide spectrum of literature, and in later years continued to enjoy books via an audio platform. She enjoyed flower gardening, and was especially fond of her peonies, irises, and other flowers in the yard. Being a supporter of the arts, Ruth played an active role in establishing the Lumberyard Arts Center. She was a great cook and a fine baker, who loved to bake special chocolate desserts for the annual Chocolate Auction fundraiser for the Art Center's scholarship for aspiring student artists. Her own artistic expression was on display in her China painting and needlepoint creations. She was also active in the Baldwin Community Theatre over the years and always enjoyed volunteering for the various productions.
Ruth is survived by her son David Dickinson and spouse Sahja Cove, of Olympia, Washington; her granddaughter Anya Dickinson-Cove, of Los Angeles, California; and her grandson Caleb Dickinson-Cove, of Seattle, Washington.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin Dickinson; her daughter, Laura Lea Dickinson; and three siblings, Robert E. Lewis, Richard R. Lewis, and Dorothy Pettijohn.
Memorial services will be held at the Baldwin First United Methodist Church on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 10:00 AM, followed by a Celebration of Life open reception in the church basement. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations in Ruth's name can be made to the Community Food Pantry at First United Methodist Church or to the First United Methodist Church Missions Committee, sent c/o Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.