Ruth B. Willis

May 28, 1935 ~ May 12, 2018 (age 82)

RUTH BELLE WILLIS, affectionately known as “Ruthie B” by family and friends, was born May 28, 1935 to Earl Hopkins Denny and Zella Lee Crouch-Denny in San Diego, CA.  Three other children were born to this union, Jesse E. Denny, Almastro J. Denny and Alton C. Denny.  All have preceded her in death. 

Ruth attended Central Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Middle, and later transferred to Dana Middle School and graduated from Point Loma High School. Ruth began the nursing program at Point Loma University but left to go to work full-time to help her mother financially. She always had a strong sense of dedication to her family. 

Ruth was employed with Sharp Memorial Hospital, where she also met her husband, Paul B. Willis.  They began dating and were married on July 14, 1962. To their union one daughter was born, Deborah Anne. She later worked at Mercy Hospital in the ICU until she was stricken with arthritis in her knee and finger.  She used that time to focus on raising her daughter and taking care of family.  Ruth re-entered the work force and began working for the San Diego Unified School District and later with Anderson Ragsdale Mortuary, where she worked faithfully for over ten years until she left to care for her husband, Paul.

During the early years, Ruth attended Greater Jackson Memorial under the leadership of the late Bishop J. A. Blake, Sr. until Vernon Cooper was sent to La Jolla to pastor St. John COGIC.  She and her husband joined Pastor Vernon and First Lady Fredonia Cooper, where they worked  diligently until Pastor Cooper felt the call to start Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ in San Diego.  Ruth along with her family worked tirelessly to support the work of the Lord and the vision God had given Pastor Cooper to build Mt. Olive.  For a period of time, she served as the Deaconess President and sang in the choir.  She was also the General Secretary for the Olivet District.

Ruth was a faithful, loving and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. She adored her family and was always fiercely protective of them.  She taught her family "Many may have far more than you have and others have far less.  Be grateful for what you’ve been given and be willing to share".  She had a love for people and would make a point to entreat new members and visitors who came to the church.  If you missed a Sunday, she would call to check on you. To the very end she was a loving and concerned mother.  No matter how she was feeling she wanted to know her family was okay and getting enough rest.  On Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 8:15 A.M., the Lord called Ruth home to get her reward.  The love she poured into her family and friends will resonate for the rest of their lives. 

She leaves to cherish her beautiful memories: her daughters, Deborah Anne Woods, of San Diego, CA, Darnell Wilson (Robert) of Flower Mound, TX; four grandchildren, Dennis James Woods, Denise LeShawnn Parrish (Tony) of San Diego, CA, Sharita Nicole Butler (Dwayne), of Allen, TX and Anthony Deshon Wilson (Sheree) of Houston, TX; three great-grandchildren, London Fredonia LeAnne Parrish, Avery Jade Butler and Jaxon Isaiah Butler; son-in-luv, Dennis L. Woods; sisters-in-law, Gerald Denny, of San Antonio, TX and Louisa Denny of San Diego, CA; four godchildren, Joyce Cummings of Fort Worth, TX, Lynette Kelker-Simmons of Las Vegas, NV, Dwight Brown of Houston, TX and Jerry Tinsley of San Diego, CA; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, her church family and many friends.

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