Ruth Guenther Kessel of Cottonwood died on April 20, 2017 at the age of 90. She was born in Whiteriver, Arizona, on November 4, 1926. Ruth lived on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, where her parents were Lutheran missionaries, through the 8th grade. In 1944 she graduated from Tucson High School. Thereafter, she attended The University of Arizona.
On May 5, 1945 she married George Kessel of Tucson who at the time was in the Navy and had just returned from service in the South Pacific. Ruth's father, Rev. E. E. Guenther, joined the couple in a marriage that lasted lovingly for 65 years.
During their lives together, Ruth and George lived in various locales including Flagstaff, Kingman, Whiteriver and Los Angeles. In 1961 they moved back home to Whiteriver, which was always "home." The Kessels moved to Sedona in 1973, and later to Cornville, then Cottonwood.
Ruth's calling in life was to be a wife and homemaker. With love and skill, she raised her four sons and one nephew. She inherited an incredible "green thumb" from her father, and she passed it on to her children. After her sons went off to college, Ruth took up tennis. She also had a collection of over 100 manger scenes which she proudly displayed throughout her home.
Ruth never wavered from her lifelong Christian faith. She was an active church member who made Christmas and Easter special for so many. Most recently, Ruth was a member of Our Shepherd Lutheran Church of Cornville.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and six of her brothers and sisters. She is survived by two siblings—Jon Guenther of Tucson and Myrna Hillyard of Cornville—and by her four sons—Paul (Sherri) of Cornville, William (Lynne) of Cottonwood, David (Lillian) of Cornville, and Tim (Cheryl) of Clarkdale. Her living legacy also includes nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Cornville (1090 Page Springs Road) at 10:00 a.m. followed by the committal at Valley View Cemetery in Clarkdale.
An online guestbook is available at www.westcottfuneralhome.com
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