She was born Oct. 30, 1921, in Knobel, Ark., the firstborn to the late Hassel Tyler Gean and Samuel Dewey Gean.
She was preceded in death by her younger six siblings, Sue King, Louise Herring, Sadie Darnall, Johnny Gean, Wilford Gean and LeRoy Gean.
Ruth was married June 23, 1941, in Portageville, Mo., to Claude Ray Hatley, who preceded her in death April 12, 1996.
She was a wonderful mother to 12 children, Donald Ray Hatley, deceased, Ronald Dewayne Hatley of Vanduser, Claudis Dean Hatley, deceased, Claudette Sue Chailland and Jim of Oran, Mo., Michael Gean Hatley and Mary Jane Smith Hatley of Oran, Juanita Marie Bryeans and Dwain of Oran, Linda Joyce Hatley of Vanduser, Marsha Lee Amos and Roger of Vanduser, Ruth Carol Hatley, deceased, Lora Darline Brown of Cape Girardeau, Donna Kay Graviett and Harold Gene of Vanduser, and Ronna Ponder and Lonnie of Sikeston; 20 grandchildren, Robin Patterson of Bloomfield, Mo., Bridget Drew of Vanduser, Darren Hatley of Bloomfield, Natlie Frye of Bloomfield, Paul Hatley of Benton, Mo., Robin Chism of Sikeston, Stacy Brawner of Oran, Sandy Walter of Oran, Lisa Ramsey of Sikeston, Ryan Chailland of Lexington, Ky., Tracy Nussbaum of Oran, Amy Davis of Oran, Shea Davis of Sikeston, Mia Hatley of Vanduser, Tonya Benefield of Vanduser, Johnny King of Chaffee, Mo., Niki Cummins of Oran, Stephani Shoaf of Deatsville, Ala., Justen Patterson of Eureka, Mo., Meghan Bivens of Sikeston; 41 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; two aunts; two sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by one great granddaughter, Lexi Cummins.
Ruth had resided in the Vanduser community for the past 52 years and attended the Vanduser Baptist Church. She worked for many years at Shuffit's Nursing Home and National Lock Co. in Sikeston until her retirement. She loved caring for others and assisted many families in caring for their loved ones in their homes.
She will greatly be missed by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and the many others who loved her.
Friends may call 5 to 8 p.m. today at Ponder Funeral Home in Sikeston, where funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Rev. Mary McCord, pastor of First Christian Church, will officiate.
Burial will follow in Old Morley Cemetery at Morley, Mo.
Pallbearers will be grandsons Paul Hatley, Darren Hatley, Johnny King, Justen Patterson, Ryan Chailland and Steven Cummins.
Online condolences may be sent at www.ponderfuneralhome.com.