Ruth Mary Vassar, age 93 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 5:55 p.m. on Friday, June 15, 2018 with family gathered at West Woods of Niles following a brief illness.
She was born on April 1, 1925 in Memphis, Tennessee to Theoda and Sarah (Poston) Emmons, and was raised by her aunt, Alberta Emmons. She graduated from The J. C. Cobin High School of the Agricultural Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She has lived in Niles since 1944, and was employed at the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company for thirty-six years.
Ruth was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Niles. She was very active since 1946 in the Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation, Michigan Jurisdiction. She was a member and Past Worthy Matron of Miriam Chapter #56 OES, PHA in Niles, Past Grand Worthy Matron for the State of Michigan, Past Illustrious Commandress of Alzabir Court #131, Daughters of Isis in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Past Loyal Lady Ruler of the Faith Assembly, Golden Circle of Kalamazoo.
She volunteered for twelve years with the United Way of Niles and also volunteered at the Niles Senior Center. She enjoyed bowling on leagues in South Bend and Niles.
On July 3, 1945 in Niles she married Lucius Vassar, Jr. with whom she celebrated the remarkable Sixty-second anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on January 7, 2008. She was also preceded in death by her parents, her mother, Albert Emmons, and by siblings, Iretta Smith, Erma Davis, and Samuel Wilson.
Surviving family includes her children, Gwen (& Luther) Taylor, Sr. of South Bend, Indiana, Margaret (& Dennis) Thompson of Wichita, Kansas, Vernita “Tuffy” Vassar of Niles, Jacqueline (& Benjamin) Johnson of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Lucius Adam (& Rema) Vassar of Detroit, Michigan; a very special son, Levi (& Toni) Trotter; grandchildren, Luther (& Andrea) Taylor, Jr, Endesha (& Tashanda) Johnson, Sr., Jua (& Nefertari) Johnson, Sekou (& Sheniaka) Johnson, Lucius Addison Ali Vassar, Rahman (& Kelly) Johnson, Jenice (& Antwan) Myers, Kendal Vassar, Sloane Vassar, Cadence Vassar, Reva (& Carter) Tolbert, Robyn (& Robert) Warrick, and Raniyah Reynolds; great-grandchildren Zachary, Autumn, Braylon, Carson, Jayla, Payton, Morgan, Asia, Shania, Endesha, Jr., Ayanna, Janea, Elise, Nora, and Zuri; and Ruth’s brother, Ira Kelly, Jr. of Los Angeles, California, two Goddaughters, several nieces and nephews, and cousins.
The funeral service for Ruth Vassar will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 601 Ferry Street in Niles with the Rev. Bryant L. Bacon of the church officiating. The eulogy will be brought by The Rev. Dr. Louis-Charles Harvey, Presiding Elder of the Capitol District, Washington, D.C. Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The service will conclude with Committal Rites; and a private final farewell will be completed on Monday at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, with Eastern Star Rites offered at 7:30 p.m.; and from Noon until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at the church. Contributions in memory of Ruth may be made to Mount Calvary Baptist Church, http://mtcbcministries.net. Online condolences may be left at: www.halbritterwickens.com
Mount Calvary Baptist Church
601 Ferry Street, Niles MI 49120