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Ella's Story

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Ella Ruth Maddox went home to be with her Lord and Savior on February 3, 2017 in Gainesville, Texas. She was born April 5, 1928 in Gainesville to Ray and Mary Susan (Wilson) Kennedy.

Ruth dedicated her life to nurturing her family and supporting her husband, Bill, in building a successful business as an independent oil man. They were married for 63 years. In 1953, Bill and Ruth began an adventure that took them to various cities while employed with Skelly Oil Company, including Billings, Montana; Casper, Wyoming; Denver, Colorado; Wichita, Kansas; Shreveport, Louisiana; and then back to Denver in 1967. They moved to Lake Kiowa permanently in 2003.

During their first six years of marriage they moved three times and had three children. No matter where they were, Ruth established a home for the family in which they thrived. She was the Energizer Bunny- continually singing while she worked and always up for a late night board or card game. Ruth was an incredible cook, introducing many new friends to basic southern cooking, especially home-fried chicken and buttermilk chocolate cake! She was a gentle, loving but firm mother who always made time to support the entire family. During the early years of Bill's career as an independent Ruth did her part by stretching a dollar to the breaking point. At least once during these years money she had squirreled away got them past a tight spot. Ruth was a Godly woman, the epitome of a woman "worth far more than rubies" (Proverbs 31).

Ruth dreamed of a family gathering spot. Together with Bill, they made this dream a reality in 1981 at Lake Kiowa. The home at the lake was and is the family place. Here her kindness, compassion and joy for life was fully expressed, and it was here that the family created memories that will endure and keep her alive in our hearts. She was a wonderful and loving person, and beneath that, a highly competitive individual who played to win- whether she was campaigning for her political candidate or playing bridge. Ruth's favorite pastime was sewing. She was an excellent seamstress and could sew everything from suit coats to elegant dresses. She delighted in making her six grandchildren matching Christmas and Easter outfits.

During her last three years, Ruth lived at Wheeler Place, and though her mind became clouded, she became even more beautiful as her spirit, kindness, and joyful countenance remained undiminished. This is evident in her effect on the other residents and staff. At Bill's 90th birthday celebration last October, in a room filled with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other loving family members, she radiated pure joy, raised her hands and clearly said "family" with an enormous smile on her face!

The Maddox family wishes to express unlimited gratitude for the loving, compassionate, and dignified care given Ruth the last three years and especially this past week. Our family thanks Dr. Larry Sears, Solaris Hospice, and most of all, the staff at Wheeler Place. The outstanding staff at Wheeler allowed "Ella Bella" to spend her final days in a loving atmosphere surrounded by family and friends. Words are inadequate to express our appreciation, admiration, and respect.

Ella Ruth is survived by her husband Billie Jo Maddox of Lake Kiowa; daughter Monica Sue Lamb of Gainesville; son Marcus David Maddox and wife Kay of Midland; son Michael Jay Maddox of Carrollton; grandchildren Emily McNamara and husband Chris, Riley Lamb and wife Blair, Cabie Lamb, Lindsay Patton and husband Andrew, Michael D. Maddox and wife Caitlin, Lauren Beall and husband Matt; great-grandchildren Simon, Libby, Zoe, Jack, John, and Dillon.

She was preceded in death by her parents; six brothers and sisters: Norma (Hunter) Lee, Charles, James, Bobby, Sue Carlisle, and Pat; and son-in-law Ron Lamb.

Funeral Services for Ella Ruth Maddox, 88, of Lake Kiowa, are set for 2:00 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the Geo. J. Carroll & Son Funeral Home. Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery. Pallbearers are Marc Maddox, Michael J. Maddox, Michael D. Maddox, Riley Lamb, Andrew Patton, Chris McNamara, Charlie Kennedy, and Randy Kennedy. Honorary pallbearers are Matt Beall, Doug Ackerman, Dale Hunter, and Harold Hunter.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Stanford House in Gainesville, Texas.

You may sign the online registry at www.geojcarroll.com.
Published on February 6, 2017
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