Landscapes 15

Ruth A. (Mullinix) King

November 4, 1922 ~ November 19, 2019 (age 97)

Obituary Image


Ruth Anna (Mullinix) King, 97, of Shenandoah, entered into rest on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at Elm Heights Care Center in Shenandoah. 

A memorial celebration of Ruth's life will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Service in Shenandoah with Phil Wing officiating.  The family will greet relatives and friends with visitation from 9:30 to 11:00 am prior to the service at the funeral home Saturday morning.  Inurnment will take place at a later date in Baker Cemetery, rural Shenandoah.  Memorials in Ruth's name are being directed to the Ruth A. King Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund.


    Ruth Anna (Mullinix) King, daughter of John Day and Mary Grace (Musgrove) Mullinix, was born on November 4, 1922 in Glenelg, Maryland.  She entered into eternal peace on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at Elm Heights Care Center in Shenandoah, Iowa at the age of 97 years, and 15 days.

    Born in the family home in Glenelg. Maryland, Ruth quietly came into this world as the doctor, who was in the house, slept through her arrival.  She was raised on the family farm and learned many things about farm life from her family.  She attended school in a one room schoolhouse to which she walked one-half mile to attend.  For high school, she rode the bus to Clarksville, Maryland and graduated at the age of 16.  Following graduation, she worked on the family farm, took care of her elderly aunts, and babysat for a relative’s children.  Ruth walked to this job and wore out her shoes.  Her mother made her quit this job because the shoes were more expensive than the pay she was receiving.

    At age 18, Ruth moved to Washington DC, where she did her nurses training at Sibley Hospital and earned her Registered Nurse degree.  She continued working in DC until her sister was transferred to Omaha, Nebraska.  Ruth and Lois moved across the country to begin this new adventure.  St. Joseph Hospital hired her to work in surgery.

    One Thanksgiving, Ruth met Merle King when she came with Lois to the King farm.  Lois knew Merle’s brother, John, from working at the Air Base near DC. On April 7, 1951, at Providence Church in Glenelg, Maryland, Ruth and Merle were united in marriage.  They moved into the King family farm east of Shenandoah, Iowa, where she spent the next 50 plus years.  Through the years she worked at Hand Community Hospital, Municipal Hospital in Clarinda, Iowa.  She then studied at the University of Iowa so she could teach practical nursing at the Clarinda Community College, which became Iowa Western Community College (IWCC).

    Ruth always had a big garden, did lots of canning, raised chickens and had time to help with homework even when she was grading papers or making lesson plans.  She was a lifelong       member of the Norwich United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and was active in the WSCS (UMW).  She was also a member of the Altrusa Club, Antique Study Club and the Norwich Social Hour.

    Merle always went to auctions and would bring home many “valuables”.  When Ruth retired she decided “if you can’t beat’em, join’em”.  They enjoyed their antique business for many years.  “King’s” was the place to go on Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July.

    Preceding Ruth in death were her parents; infant son, John Carlton; infant grandson, Glen Dean; husband, Merle Cleatis; sister, Katherine and her husband John (Jack) Dorcus; sister, Lois and her husband Jack McEveny; brother, David Mullinix; brother-in-law, Ron Shriver; and brothers-in-law and their spouses, Dale and Mary King, John and Vera King and Walter and LaVelle King.

    Left to cherish her memory are her two daughters, Marilyn Anne  Kinsella and husband Bernie of Council Bluffs, IA and Pamela Jean Lewis and husband Mark of Shenandoah, IA; three grandchildren, Bernie Kinsella and wife Melissa of Houston, TX, Katie Kinsella and Ryan Penney of Council Bluffs, IA, and Megan Beery of Glenwood, IA.  Her sister, Grace Shriver and sister-in-law, Betty Mullinix, still live in Maryland.  Also surviving are many nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth A. (Mullinix) King, please visit our floral store.


November 23, 2019

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Funeral Service

Celebration of Life
November 23, 2019

11:00 AM
Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Service
405 W Thomas Avenue
Shenandoah, IA 51601

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