When I was a child, I hated funerals - putting on a coat and tie in the middle of the summer to go hear sad stories about somebody I may have never met. I'd rather be swimming. But life has changed me. I now anticipate attending funerals, especially if I know that the deceased is a Believer. Otherwise, it can be terrifying. David, one of my past pastors, and one of my closest friends, lost his mom this week. I didn't know her personally, but I feel like I know her because I know David. Apparently, a lot of him came from her. David posted the note below which includes a tribute written by his brother. David's mom's life makes me want to live a better life. Isn't that what Christians are supposed to do?
On Friday evening, Deb and I inched our way through Memorial Day traffic to be with Mama. When we arrived, she was breathing rapidly and Jesse was patting her forehead with a damp cloth. Less than an hour after we arrived, Deb suggested we pray for her. We held her and prayed briefly that Jesus would welcome her home, and as we said "Amen" she passed from our arms into the arms of her Savior. Below is a beautiful tribute written by my brother Jesse (so it includes a Latin phrase). A memorial service is planned for August 19 at Memorial United Methodist in Franklin, NC. Time TBA. Consistent with her character, Mama left a specific instruction regarding her funeral: "Be brief. Be jovial. No folderol."
Ruth Crawford Slagle, 96 years of age, passed away on May 26, 2023 at her home in Franklin, North Carolina. She was born at that home place on June 20, 1926 to Cecil and Flora Robinson Crawford.
Ruth was raised on the family farm up on Wayah Creek in Macon County, worshipped at Mount Hope Baptist Church and was baptized in Cartoogechaye Creek. She attended Slagle School and Franklin High School. She was a diligent student and was accepted to Mars Hill College. Upon her graduation she became one of the “Atomic Girls” and worked at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the Manhattan Project until the end of World War II. After the war she taught school in Highlands and Wilmington, North Carolina.
Ruth married Frederick Slagle at Mount Hope in September of 1949. Theirs was a blessed union for 73 years. She and Frederick were said to have met on the floor under a quilt frame as their mothers and other women in the community gathered and stitched together. Frederick said it seemed like they had been married all their lives. After careful consideration and consultation with her mother and mother-in-law (formerly a Presbyterian missionary) she decided to join her husband in the Methodist Church, not a forgone conclusion. They moved to Forest Park, Georgia in 1956. A faithful and diligent member, she served the congregation of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church for forty years. They raised a family of five children and were active in their lives and the community in which they lived. After their children were grown, they returned to Franklin where they became faithful members of the congregation of Memorial United Methodist Church.
Like her mother, she was a long-time Master Gardener and continued to learn and grow in the garden for as long as she was able. She was gifted with an astonishing knowledge of the plants around her and they prospered under her care. Her most wonderful gift was her ability to cultivate relationships. Her thoughtful care and concern produced a harvest of hundreds of close and loving friends, fellow travelers in the faith and loving family from the east to the west coasts and in between. A humble person, full of grace, she profoundly touched the lives of all kinds of people through thoughtful acts, kind works and beautiful handwritten letters. She had the gift of the right words offered in love that healed many. The steady and unchanging character of her Christian witness informed everything she did. A true daughter of North Carolina, she embodied the state motto: Esse Quam Videri.