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Her favorite word was “Hello.” Her least favorite word was “Goodbye.” Sophia Ruth Uland, age 86 and long-time resident of Circleville, Ohio, and Indiana said her final goodbye on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at Community North Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana. Sophia, better known as “Ruth,” was the seventh child born to Steve William and Sarah Ann (O’Brien) Morgan in Vincennes, Indiana on February 7, 1933. She is survived by her little sister, Patricia Fredericks of Vincennes. Ruth’s love of reading and school started very early in life through her oldest brother, Gene. Throughout middle school and high school, she participated in numerous clubs, became a majorette, skipped a grade and graduated in 1950 at the top of her class from Lawrenceville, IL. Ruth then worked for a group of architects and the FBI before settling into Indiana Bell as a telephone operator and attending Vincennes University. She and four dear friends shared an apartment during this time - something all their mothers lamented. Ruth was very independent.
During a strike at Indiana Bell, Ruth met a handsome young soldier, Frank Uland. His sister, Kay, set them up on a date and it was love at first sight. They married May 30, 1954, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Vincennes. Ruth, an accomplished seamstress, not only made her wedding dress, but all the bridesmaids dress as well. They moved to West Lafayette, Indiana when Frank started at Purdue University. In 1960, they moved again with three young children to Buffalo, New York as Frank began his career with DuPont. Leaving New York with two more children, they lived in Richmond, Virginia before setting in Circleville.
Ruth stayed home and raised their family until she decided to go back to school and realize her dream of becoming a teacher. She graduated in three years from Ohio University in 1977, Summa Cum Laude, while still maintaining her family life. Ruth taught elementary and middle school students for about 15 years, before retiring to care for Frank. She loved teaching, and the students loved her. She once organized buying a puppy for a student who had recently lost their father and hid it in his school desk for him to find. He kept that dog for years. Ruth felt teaching was a hard but rewarding job ‘because you live it every moment.’ The Catholic Church was a big part of her life. She was the first female president of the St. Joseph’s Parish Council. She loved volunteering with Stevens Ministry and as a eucharistic minister.
Ruth’s happy places were family, teaching, her English garden, making wreaths from dried flowers, reading and quilting, which she began after retirement. Ruth experimented with a variety of pattern and textures including appliqué quilts. Each quilt took about a year to complete. The quilts were hand-stitched with love and mostly beaded for dimension. Frank joked Ruth used beads so no one could lay on them. Ruth made at least twenty quilts during her life, many of which hang in family homes today.
In addition to her quilts, she stitched together many fond memories with her family such as baking with huge messes, playing games, dancing, decorating and traveling. She believed more is better especially when it came to silver icicles on the Christmas tree. When her grandchildren came along - all the better to act like the big kid, she was at heart. Ruth is preceded in her passing by her Mother and Father, her husband, her brothers, Steve, Edward, Gene, Bob, her sisters, Mary Ellen, and Sally and her granddaughter, Maggie Kelley. She left surrounded by the love of her children; Kathleen (Mark) Kelley, David (Jill) Uland, Susan (Dan) Nierste, Peg (Kevin) Eichner, Mark (Susan) Uland. Her grandchildren who knew her as Nana So; Eoghan (Danah) Kelley, Eamon Kelley; Aoibhinn (Jessie) Daniels; Eileen Kelley; Jon (Whitney) Uland; Alex Uland; Leslie (Graham) Zebrasky; Max (Kylie) Nierste; Ana Eichner; Ben Eichner; Morgan Uland and Ivan Uland. Her great-grandchildren who knew her as GG; Matthew, Seth, Christopher, and Vanessa Nierste; Chase and Lily Zebrasky; Kevin Daniels. She will be missed by her brother in law, Ray, and sister in law, Mary. She loved all her nieces and nephews. Ruth was blessed with many life-long friends in Circleville, caring and beautiful companions at Traditions Assisted Living in Indiana and enjoyed a special friendship of many years with Robert ‘Bud’ Brehmer. Her constant companion and shadow of nine years was her little dog, Katie. The celebration of a life well lived will begin on April 5 between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Wellman Funeral Home located at 1455 N. Court St, Circleville, Ohio. A mass will be said by Father Ted at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church located on 134 W. Mound St. Circleville, Ohio at 10 a.m. on April 6. Burial will take place immediately after mass at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Instead of flowers, please consider a donation to support elementary education via the Circleville High School Alumni Association, 380 Clark Drive Circleville, Ohio 43113 in her name.
Online condolences can be made to www.wellmanfuneralhomes.com.