Ruth Marie Patty, of Wentzville, MO, passed away Saturday, September 10, 2022, at the age of 93. Beloved wife of deceased Billy Don Patty; cherished daughter of the late Pius Mary Greiner and Maud Ellen (Houston) Greiner. Devoted mother of Mary Ellen (Joseph H. III) Felchlin, John Michael (Beth) Patty, Dolores "Dee" M. (Donald) Twillman, and Ruth Ann (Wayne) Baldwin; loving grandmother of Joseph (Cam) Felchlin, Michele Hunt, David Patty, Chris Patty, Michael (Andrea) Twillman, Jennifer (Jeremy) Herndon, Sam Schnurbusch, and Addie (Chris) Schnurbusch; treasured great-grandmother of Ashley (Robert) Lines, Brianna (Kyle) Giamanco, Elizabeth Felchlin, Willie Felchlin, Gavin Twillman, Caiden Twillman, and Sadie Baldwin; greatgreat grandchildren, Cadi and Gabe Lines; dear sister and last survivor of 10 children that include the late Harold Greiner, Pius Paul Greiner, Wilford J. Greiner, Mary Gertrude (Emenhiser) Greiner, Claude Alphonse Greiner, Joseph J. Greiner, Genevieve Amelia (Gardner) Greiner, Bernard George Greiner, and Inez Marie (Snider) Greiner.
Ruth was born in 1928 into a very catholic family living in the small Oklahoma town of Vinita. She was the youngest of 10 much older siblings. Jenny and Inez were her favorite sisters. Her family weathered the 1930s depression era better than most due to her father’s business acumen and ownership of 2 Piggly Wiggly grocery stores that provided employment and food for his children and also food for many of the impoverished locals. Ruthie‘s values of meaningful sacrifice, compassion, generosity, and service for those in need were early guiding principles she practiced throughout her life and were an important basis for her later attraction to Billy. Her idyllic grade school years were a time of innocence, daydreaming, and close friendships with classmates May and especially Rosie. At age 14 her life changed with the death of her father and the beginning of her orienting toward work, responsibility, and her lifelong love affair with Billy.
Despite their socioeconomic, family dynamics, and religious differences they were smitten with each other. Their shared values, love and vision for their own family held them in good stead through times of success and real hardship. Billy passed up college scholarship opportunities to MIT and Annapolis due to his desire to marry Ruth. They married in May of 1948. Together they remodeled houses, owned, and operated a truck stop and attached a small motel, replaced it with a large modern motel, built 2 subdivisions of over 100 hundred homes, engineered, and built out modern sanitary facilities in St. Charles County, and finally remodeled an old car assembly building in downtown St. Louis into the Our Lady of Perpetual Help food pantry and collection operation for feeding the poor. Ruth provided unfailing support, love, and wise counsel for each of their ventures. They were spiritual companions as well. Together they created and facilitated a weekly spiritual youth group from their home that ran for over 12 years of Acts Retreats, Missions In Motion, pastoral counseling training, visiting the hospitalized, and delivering food to the home-bound were other aspects of their spiritual activism. They gave generously financially, emotionally, and physically to each of these noble causes.
In addition to Ruth’s love of her cherished soul mate Billy Don, her faith, family, and close friends, she enjoyed the beauty of nature and the activity of birds, quiet contemplative prayer, gardening, traveling with family to Europe and Israel, attending mass, reading the Bible, and performing acts of service for the sick and poor. Her cooking and baking, especially her array of Christmas cookies and a lamb-shaped Easter cake were tangible expressions of her loving commitments to faith and family. She was always delighted when the family would gather to play canasta and dominos. It was even better if listening to the play-by-play of Cardinals baseball games.
After almost one full year of waiting and bravely carrying on alone her wish for reunification with her mate of 80 years was granted. She died definitively, suddenly, and without pain while her family was gathering to celebrate an early birthday dinner. This last supper became our first celebration of the life of an enlightened spiritual being that touched all who knew her. If anyone so deserves to be in the arms of Billy and the angels, it is Ruth. May her spirit continue to sustain and nourish us.
A memorial mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Wentzville, MO on Saturday, September 24th at 2PM and a rosary will be said at 1:30 PM prior to mass.
In lieu of flowers, Ruth would ask that any donations be directed to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Food Pantry at 4335 Warne Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63107 or via the website helpstlouis.org.