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Ruth Mae's Story

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Ruth Ora Mae Caldwell Kensell died peacefully at her home in Noble on September 9th, 2017 at the age of 101. She was born to James Andrew Caldwell and Etna Francis Gaddis on August 15th, 1916 in Stratford, Oklahoma. She met her future husband, Lewis Kensell, at a dance in Anadarko after her family had settled in Cement, Oklahoma. The couple decided to marry in March of 1940, and moved to the Lawton area. Ruth worked for a short time as a dispatcher, but became a full-time homemaker after her two sons were born. She was a devoted wife and mother. In fact, the boys knew that they would be in serious trouble if they stopped down the street to play instead of reporting in after school! Later, she and Lewis made sure both sons were able to obtain college degrees and find success in their individual fields.
In her spare time, Ruth loved to write long letters to her many relatives who were spread from Texas to California. She served as the family historian, keeping track of her extended family by mail and phone. She knew about every birth, wedding, or illness, and celebrated or worried along with each family member. Friends and relatives were always welcome in her home, where she shared stories and Mrs. Smith's Apple Pie. She also loved to dress up with gloves, hats and jewelry, looking as glamourous as a 1940's movie star. When her sisters and nieces visited, she would get the bathroom scales out so see who weighed the least. The running joke was that she knew she would win this contest and always did. Ruth had a lively sense of humor, and loved to tell stories about the pranks she and her four sisters had played on their older brothers. On one occasion, the Caldwell boys had hidden their beer in the cold steam behind their house. Ruth remembered that the sisters moved the beer, making the boys think it had been stolen or found by their father. Apparently, the young men were afraid to even ask about the missing alcohol. Till the end of her life, Ruth remained spirited and fun-loving. She might toss a napkin at a caregiver who was inattentive, then later give them a hug. Most importantly, the feisty centenarian started every day with a strong cup of black coffee and conversation. A really good day would end with Underwood's Barbeque and family events. Perhaps this helped her live past 100 years old.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, James Andrew Caldwell and Etna Frances Gaddis; siblings, Sidney Caldwell, Connard Caldwell, Isaac Caldwell, Norris Caldwell, Jack Caldwell, Jimmy Caldwell, Luther Caldwell, Paul Caldwell, Clarence Caldwell, Ada Cates, Evelyn Ellis, and Maxine Hightower; and son, Lewis Anthony (Tony) Kensell. She is survived by her son Douglas Paul Kensell; two grandchildren, Jermey Scot Kensell and Christopher Allen Henderson; and a host of extended family and friends.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Loving Care Home Health, Hospice, and Private Pay for their compassionate and outstanding care. Each one of them became like a family member to Ruth. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 at the Lexington Cemetery. Send online condolences @ www.wilsonlittle.com.
Published on September 10, 2017
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