The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

February 5, 2014

Ruth M. Brown

Palestine Herald-Press

Services for Ruth Marguerite Brown, 91, of Palestine will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at Herrington / Land of Memory Chapel with the Rev. Jason Harris officiating. Burial will follow at Land of Memory Cemetery under the direction of Herrington / Land of Memory Funeral Home. 

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 at the funeral home.

Mrs. Brown passed away on Jan. 28, 2014 at Palestine Regional Medical Center in Palestine, Texas.

She was born Ruth Marguerite Herrington in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 20, 1922 to Leonard and Arcola Herrington. 

Ruth grew up in Palestine graduating from Palestine High School in 1940. Ruth was a charter member of Evangelistic Temple. She married her high school sweetheart, Charles Gibson, but was widowed too soon by his death in France during World War II. They were parents to Charles Donald Gibson Jr., who passed away at the tender age of six.  Before Charles Donald’s death, Ruth met William Van Brown who had moved to Palestine after serving with the Merrill’s Marauders in the Pacific in WWII.  They married in 1946. They remained married for 57 years and together built a beautiful family of four more children. In 1953 they moved from Palestine to Houston, Texas, where they lived for 23 years. 

Ruth was very involved with her children and the community in Houston working in her church and volunteering at her children’s schools, leading cub scouts and even was on a bowling league. She and Van Sr. moved back to Palestine in 1976 moving into the home where she spent most of her childhood.  On her return to Palestine she once again became active in the community and her home church.  She picked up with her interest in caring for others by visiting in the nursing homes, sending birthday and anniversary cards and special notes to friends, graduating students, newly married couples, new parents and anyone needing a little written message of care. She also enjoyed canning the figs she grew on her property. She loved to sew for herself, her friends and her family, especially new babies. Every new baby was gifted with a hand-sewn flannel blanket. Some of those babies are now adults!  Later in life she became an avid reader. She was a frequent “borrower” of books from Evangelistic Temple library.

Ruth was a doting grandmother never failing to send an encouraging note to grandkids for achievements whether academic, athletic or work related. One most important gift she leaves for them is a strong sense of family … that of belonging, sharing and supporting each other. Through her generous spirit she became the center of the Brown family, a place to go to rekindle a family spirit.  But it was never the place … it was her. That is her ultimate gift.

She was predeceased by her parents, Arcola Norwood and Leonard Orr Herrington; half-brothers, Malcolm, Norwood and Quentin Kent; her brother, Leonard Orr Herrington Jr., Charles Gibson Sr. and their son, Charles Donald Gibson Jr.; husband, William Van Brown Sr.; and granddaughters, Leighanna and Margaret Terrell “Maggie” Brown and nephew, James David Fike.

Ruth is survived by her sister, Arcola Herrington Fike (Arvin); children William Van Brown Jr., Leonard Thomas Brown (Karen), Beverly Ruth Rowalt (Jim) and Brenda Kay Bretz; grandchildren Callie Stewart (Aaron) and Benjamin Brown (Yamilli); Dustin Brown (Layla) and Anson, Ashlen and Gillian Brown; Zachary and Jimmy Rowalt; Stanley Williamson, Troy Bretz (Chelsea) and Cara Bretz; and great-grandchildren, Madeline Brown, Wyatt Brown and Ella Stewart. She also leaves many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be grandsons Benjamin Brown, Dustin and Anson Brown, Zachary and Jimmy Rowalt, Stanley Williamson and Troy Bretz.

Memorials may be made to Evangelistic Temple Library Fund, 3011 N. Loop 256, Palestine, Texas 75803.

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