, Muskogee, OK

January 5, 2013

Ruth Box


— Nellie Ruth Baker Box, 89, of Muskogee died Thursday, Jan 3.

Ruth was born on June 10, 1923 in Coweta. She was the only child of William Mears and Blanche Anne Beasley Mears. At a young age, she moved to Muskogee and attended Muskogee Public Schools from first through twelfth grade, graduating from Central High School in 1941. She attended Longfellow and Franklin elementary schools and West Junior High School.

She married Robert Erwin Baker in July 21, 1942. During the war, she served her country at Camp Gruber as a jeep mechanic. In 1962 she graduated from the Muskogee General Hospital LPN program. Robert Baker died in 1965. Ruth was particularly proud of having graduated from the second graduating class for Registered Nursing from Bacone College in 1965. In 1970 she married Claude Box who died in 1983.

Ms. Box loved being a professional nurse. Her passion for people was evident in all that she did. She taught in the Muskogee General Hospital LPN program and enjoyed sharing stories of her times with Stella Wetz and Ms. Rockefeller, her mentors in nursing. She joined the Public Health nurses at the Muskogee County Health Department in 1965 and served in that capacity for six years. She then moved to the Muskogee County Department of Human Services as a District Supervisor for District #2 until 1985. During this time, she was a pioneer in establishing Home Health for Medicare services. She developed and piloted programs that paved the way for current home health practices. After her retirement from DHS, she took on new challenges as an instructor at Indian Capital Technology Center in Muskogee where she taught part-time until 2005. During her forty plus years as a nurse and teacher, she touched many lives and brought comfort to many.

Ruth believed strongly in the importance of giving back to the community. She served on the Board of the Gospel Rescue Mission and was a founding member of the Muskogee Area Arts Council and served as a “Silver Haired” legislator for several years. The Muskogee Public library was always a special part of her life and she attended many “Books Sandwiched In” events.  She was active in the Muskogee Art Guild and the Muskogee Quilt Guild. She greatly enjoyed her dear friends in the “Miles to Go” group. Late in life, she made wonderful friends in “Ladies Night Out” and enjoyed the special young women who made that group possible.

It could truly be said that Ms. Box could do any sort of hand stitching that you could name and taught many classes for different crafts over the years. She was an accomplished artist, loved the Spring Banner projects and city murals. Ruth danced as a “Golden Girl” for many years and always loved being “the short one on the end”. She enjoyed Girl Scouts, rarely missed a show at Muskogee Little Theatre, and especially loved her Sunday School classmates at St. Paul’s Church in the Wesley class.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, both her husbands and her sister, Billie McLaughlin.

She is survived by her sister, Margaret Haworth of Tahlequah; daughter Ann Trzcinski and her husband George, of Oktaha; son Martin Baker and wife Janice, of Hortonville, WI; and daughter, Wren Stratton of Muskogee and son-in-law Dr. Mike Stratton of Muskogee; her beloved grandchildren, Bob Trzcinski and wife Lerryn, of Coweta; Rachel Hallum and husband Steve, of Coweta; Micah Trzcinski and wife Angie, of Oktaha; Marty Baker and wife Amanda, of Shiocton, WI; Mary Warning and her husband Chris, of Hortonville, WI; Slade Stratton and wife Betsey, of Destin, FL; Scott Stratton and wife Kelin, of Muskogee; and Samuel Stratton of Muskogee. Her very precious great grandchildren; Dalton Hallum, Taylor Trzcinski, Evie Trzcinski, George Winston Trzcinski, Graham Stratton, Claire Stratton, Bennett Stratton, Eden Dennis, Killian Stratton, Gunner Baker, Colt Baker, Mytchel Warning and Dereck Warning. Her very special cherished friends Ann Pringle and Marlowe Duncan as well as all of the Trzcinski and Hallum families who became her family.

The family would like to express appreciation to the staff at Broadway Manor Nursing Home, Muskogee Regional Medical Center Home Health, Dr. Javvaji and his staff and St. Francis Hospice for their compassionate care.

Funeral services will be Monday January 7, 2013 at 2:00 PM in the sanctuary at St. Paul United Methodist Church with Reverend Mark Jardine and Reverend Greg Boyd officiating.

Honorary Pallbearers include: Robert Trzcinski, Micah Trzcinski, Steve Hallum, Marty Baker, Chris Warning, Dalton Hallum, Brett Trzcinski, William Trzcinski, Al Hallum, Slade Stratton, Scott Stratton, Samuel Stratton and Joseph Trzcinski.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Paul United Methodist Church or Muskogee Area Arts Council in care of Wren Stratton.

Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Bradley Funeral Service. Friends may send condolences to the family at