Memorial services for Ruth Parkhurst, 89, of Ada are at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Father John Norvell will officiate.
Ms. Parkhurst passed away Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at her home.
She was born Oct. 3, 1927, in Tulsa to Maurice Jackson and Leila Irene May Parkhurst.
Ruth had a lifelong love of learning. She graduated summa cum laude from The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, with majors in business administration and English literature and an additional 14 hours credit in religious studies. Ruth earned her MPH from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston,and she earned a post-graduate certificate in community health administration from Columbia University in New York City. She also earned a certificate of leadership and organizational change for nonprofit organizations from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
Ruth was employed throughout her life, including periods of marriage. While living in New York City, she was employed in the philanthropic offices of the Rockefeller family and studied on a part-time basis at the New School for Social Research. Immediately after earning her MPH degree, she worked with a four-person team planning and coordinating 13 seminars for board members of nonprofit community health centers in the Southern states. For a brief period she served as staff in Washington, D.C., to the committee charged with accreditation of schools of public health. Later, Ruth completed a project to identify model community programs for person dually diagnosed as mentally retarded and emotionally disturbed. This project was completed for the state of Virginia Mental Health Department, and her report of the project was published as a chapter in a medical text dealing with community mental health concerns. Under the auspices of nonprofit boards of Ddirectors, Ruth established and operated community health centers. She returned to Oklahoma to open, operate and retire from the Konawa Community Health Center, currently known as The Central Oklahoma Family Medical Center.
After retirement, Ruth continued to be active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ada as well as working with the Oklahoma Episcopal Diocese and the Ada Fortnightly Study Club. She also continued to pursue her interests in travel, education and the arts.
Ruth leaves two sisters, Esther Maurice Parkhurst Solomon Graves of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and Mary Joyce Parkhurst Reichelt Green of Norman; six nephews, Daniel Solomon, Ben Solomon, Joshua Solomon, David Solomon, Jeremy Solomon and Gerry Reichelt, together with their families including grand- and great-grand-nephews and -nieces; and one niece, Heidi Reichelt Johnson.
Published on December 2, 2016