Ruth's Story

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Ruth Bleakney Holzhauser, 97, of New Castle passed away peacefully on Monday, Sept. 4 2017, after an illness.
The daughter of the late Eugene Bleakney and Edythe Magee Bleakney, Ruth was born in Ellwood City in August 1920. She was also preceded in death by her stepmother, Rosalie Ward Bleakney.
She was the devoted big sister to Shirley Bleakney Houck (deceased), and Kenneth Bleakney and Norma Bleakney McClintick.
Ruth married Jacob D. Holzhauser, who died in 2000. He was a decorated World War II Marine veteran, in 1946.
Mourning her death, she leaves behind her children, Dennis (Diana) of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Gerald (Joyce) of New Castle; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Alex) Holzhauser Rivera of Denver, Colorado, and Jacob (Stephanie) of New Castle; and her great-granddaughter, Cecelia Rivera of Denver.
She also leaves behind a devoted and well- loved family of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and their children and cousins.
Ruth loved her family above all things, and was extremely proud of the accomplishments and milestone achievements of her immediate and extended family members.
Ruth was a lover of the life bestowed on her by God, having great adventures exploring this world, loving others above loving things and dedicating herself to teaching.
She graduated from Lincoln High School in Ellwood City in 1938, and persued her passion to teach children by graduating from Slippery Rock State Teachers College with a degree in elementary education.
She began her 37-year career in education as a teacher at Wayne School in Ellwood City. After 10 years of service there, Ruth began a 27-year career as a teacher and counselor at Shenango Elementary School in New Castle.
She was honored in 1972, being named Shenango School District's teacher of the year. Ruth served the residents of the Shenango area with compassion, warmth, love and a dedication to doing the right thing while inspiring those around her to also do the right thing.
She was a member of PSEA, PASR and the Educational Honor Society, Delta Kappa Gamma's Alpha Omicron Chapter.
Her love of books and music began at an early age. As a child, she preferred receiving books as gifts. Her love of books, reading, learning and sharing knowledge continued throughout her life.
Her love of music was shared by being an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church's worship and music committee, and by her playing and teaching during the summer Bible School for Children at the church.
After her children were grown, Ruth became a member of the board of directors for the Lawrence County Association for the Blind. She also began to create beautifully crafted needlepoint chair covers and wall art.
Always active, Ruth participated in activities in the New Castle Challenges facility learning to play bridge in her 70s.
Ruth was computer savvy, learning computer skills in her 80s, and corresponding via emails and playing games on her iPad.
Her sense of adventure and travel began early, and she traveled to Ireland, England, Germany and other western European countries, as well as Alaska, Florida, New Mexico and across the United States.
An avid sports fan, she followed the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as local football and baseball.
Friends will be received from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Turner Funeral Home, 500 Sixth St., Ellwood City.
Additional visitation is planned from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church, 2601 Highland Ave., New Castle.
A celebration of Ruth's life service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church with Pastor David Snyder officiating.
Burial will be in Castle View Memorial Gardens, Neshannock Township.
Her steadfast love of life, kindness and generosity will be missed by her family and by all who knew her.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Endowment Fund, St. John's Lutheran Church, 2601 Highland Ave., New Castle, PA 16105; or to the Lawrence County Humane Society, 628 Pearson Mill Road, New Castle PA 16101.
You may read the obituary, sign her guestbook or offer condolences at www.turnerfh.com.
Published on September 5, 2017
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