Born: Ruth Mary Barthle, April 14, 1923, Lake Jovita, FL
Died: January 11, 2021, St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, Allegany, NY of Natural Causes
Daughter of: Joseph and Clara Sultenfuss Barthle, Lake Jovita, FL
Sr. Ruth entered the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany on January 30, 1942, was received into the Congregation on August 15, 1942, and professed her final vows on August 16, 1949. She joyfully lived the Franciscan charism as an Allegany Sister for 78 years.
Ruth attended St. Anthony Grammar School and Holy Name Academy in San Antonio, FL; she graduated from St. Michael High School in Pensacola, FL, in 1941.
Sr. Ruth began her ministry with the Allegany Franciscans as a radiology technician in Congregational hospitals in NJ, FL and St. Francis Hospital, Olean, NY. In 1963, feeling called to a more contemplative life, she left the Congregation, joined the Poor Clares and lived at their monastery in Coroico, Bolivia, for 17 years. After that, she rejoined the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and ministered at Corpus Christi School in Miami, FL, teaching religion and working in the library.
In 1984, Sr. Ruth became the Director of Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg, FL, serving those who are poor and marginalized until her retirement in 1998. In 1999, Pope John Paul II bestowed on Ruth the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award in recognition for her singular dedication to the Church and the community. In 2001, she moved to St. Elizabeth Convent in Tampa, FL, and spent a number of years as a prison ministry volunteer. In 2017, Ruth was warmly welcomed home to St. Elizabeth Motherhouse where her radiant smile continued to give evidence to the inner joy that was so much a part of her life.
Sr. Ruth is predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Clara Sultenfuss Barthle, two sisters, Margaret Kiefer and Mary Shambeau and two brothers, Albert and Joseph Barthle. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Stella Barthle and several nieces and nephews.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date in the Chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse. Sr. Ruth will be buried in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in San Antonio, FL, at the request of her family.
Arrangements are under the direction of Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. 646 East State Street, Olean, New York. For condolences, please visit www.letromcintoshspinkfuneralhome.com.