Mrs. Ruth Miller died peacefully on May 22, 2023 at Ephrata Manor in Ephrata, Pennsylvania after several months of failing health.
She was born in Shickshinny in 1930 to Freas Edwin Smith, a mine official, and Ruth Elma Howland Smith, a baker and homemaker.
The tenth of fourteen children, Ruth had an industrious childhood, helping to raise many of her older siblings’ children. She attended high school in Newport Township until the summer of 1946, when she left school to marry Donald B. Hauze. From 1948 to 1953, Ruth and Donald welcomed three sons and a daughter, who they raised on King Street in Pottstown.
Ruth had an active professional life. She was employed for many years by Sears, Roebuck and Company at the Coventry Mall in Pottstown; she also worked as a bookkeeper, a doctor’s receptionist, and a nurses’ aide.
Following Donald’s death in 1976, Ruth married Gordon Baker. They took great joy in their many grandchildren and provided professional day care for a number of local children in their immaculately clean, well-run home. Ruth received her GED in July 1978 and studied nursing at Harcum College.
After Gordon’s death in 1985, Ruth began her volunteer career by training with the United Church of Christ Board for Homeland Ministries. She served as director of The Bancroft House, a home for women and children in crisis in New Hampshire. She also helped start the infant/toddler program at Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Ruth married Delbert “Deb” Miller in 1991 and they became house parents at the Queen Louise Home for Children in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. In later years they returned to Pennsylvania, where Ruth served countless churches as a professional organist. Following Deb’s death in 2009, Ruth continued her musical and volunteer work. She relocated to Ephrata Manor with friends a few years later, where she played piano and organ and became certified as a PEER advocate by the State of Pennsylvania.
In addition to three husbands, Ruth was preceded in death by daughter Lynda, sons Arlin and Gary, and grandchildren David and Rebecca. She is survived by her son Donald B. Hauze Jr., twelve stepchildren, and dozens of grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2:00pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Manheim. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Ruth’s memory to Ephrata Manor, 99 Bethany Rd, Ephrata, PA 17522, with “Ephrata Manor Chapel Services/Music Ministry” in the note or memo line.