Mary Ruth Penhorwood Cramer died peacefully at Green Hills Community, West Liberty, and entered into the fullness of eternal life on Sunday, Sept.9, 2018.
She was the youngest of eight children — and the only daughter — born to the late Sherman Dudley and Martha Jane McBeth Penhorwood. She was born Friday, Jan. 13, 1928, northeast of West Mansfield on the family farmstead in York Township, Union County, and will be laid to rest in York Cemetery.
Whether living in Union County during her early years or in Logan County later in life, Bethel United Methodist Church was foundational to her Christian faith and service over her entire lifetime Most notably she served as a pianist and organist for about 70 years. Among multiple responsibilities, she was active in the United Methodist Women, taught Sunday School, served on the church Board and various committees, and was a delegate to Annual Conference for several years. She served as church historian and authored a brief history of the church for the centennial of its building in 2002.
Mary was wed on Friday, July 25, 1947, to James Walter Cramer, the youngest of five children born to the late Charles Edward and Ruby Fern McKill Cramer. Walter and Mary were married 71 years and four children were born of the marriage.
Mary is survived by husband, Walter and their children, Barry (Jeff Bessler), Carolyn (Charles) Rudd, Stephen (Emily Frazer) and Stephanie (Bruce) McLaughlin; seven grandchildren, Andrew Rudd, Stephanie Rudd, Brent McLaughlin, Kevin Cramer, Nathan McLaughlin, Laura Cramer French and Timothy McLaughlin; two great-grandchildren, Dorothy and Aiden McLaughlin; and two brothers, John of Mansfield and Marion of Marysville.
Mary was also preceded in death by five of her seven brothers, Bernice, Leonidas, Maynard, Clarence and Lawrence.
Mary attended York School all 12 years and graduated in the Class of 1945.
Aspirations for a nursing career were cut short at that time after only six weeks of study, but were fulfilled five decades later, in November 1995, as she completed her training and certification as a State-Tested Nursing Assistant; she then worked for Milcrest Nursing Home and private patients. Her earlier employment included Harding Machine Screw Co., Ben Franklin Five and Ten, Union County Board of Education, Dee’s Department Store, Hadley Photography, Bull Dog Electric Co., Plaza Inn, West Mansfield United Methodist Church, Dr. Charles H. Thompson, YMCA Camp Willson and Logan Acres Senior Community. She was also a very capable and loving homemaker and hands-on farm wife.
Mary lived a beautiful life, dedicated to serving others. She rose above the challenges of life through her persistence and a remarkable independent streak that sometimes amazed and sometimes amused others. She and Walter encouraged and supported their children in pursuit of higher education. Mary remained active throughout her life until incapacitated during her last couple years, during which time she was ably and lovingly cared for by the staff of the Green Hills Community, to whom the family offers their deep gratitude.
Calling is from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Wilson Funeral Home, Schnurrenberger Chapel, 222 W. Center St., West Mansfield, and also an hour prior to the 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17, funeral at Bethel Community Church, 28941 January Road, West Mansfield. The Rev. George Johnson officials and burial follows in York Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bethel Church in care of the funeral home.
Express condolences to the family at www.wilsonfuneralhomesinc.com.