Thelma Ruth Yerke died on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Winter Park, FL, at the age of 90. She was born July 28, 1929, to Oscar Paul Johnson and Mona Fern Shook in Detroit, Michigan. During her lifetime Ruth resided in Baldwin and Grand Rapids (MI), Knightdale (NC), Florida, California and Japan, each move in answer to God’s calling. She worked at North Carolina State retiring after 15 years of service. “Would you like a Bible verse?” “Do you read your Bible?” Ruth Yerke, this handmaiden of the Lord, handed out hand printed Bible verses to anyone who would accept one; whether she was greeting at Walmart, speaking to people in waiting rooms, nurses, doctors, or strangers she was passing on the street. Nurses and doctors posted them on bulletin boards and rarely did anyone say “no” to this petite little lady who so loved the Lord that she wanted to share His love with everyone she met. If she made a phone call, even a business call, before she said goodbye she would ask, “do you read your Bible?” And thus, she opened the door to say that God cared about them. In her neighborhood and in her church, Ruth made many friends as she reached out to everyone she met with God’s love. All were blessed to have known her.
She was the beloved wife of Franklin Yerke of Grand Ledge, MI, who survives. Ruth and Franklin were married on November 29,1976. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews/their families; by stepson Calvin Yerke (Meagan) and children with whom she lived at the time of her death; special friends Donna and Ivan Barnes. Ruth was the last of eight Johnson children.
She was predeceased by her parents, Paul Johnson, Lucile Wimmer (Bruce), Dorothy Hibberd (Lloyd), Evelyn Gifford (Arland), Edward Johnson (Dorris). Joyce Gibbs (David), and Charles Johnson (Joyce, who survives). Ruth will be missed by her family, church communities, neighbors and friends.
Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at 10 am where her ashes will be interred at the Greenmount Cemetery, Wendell, North Carolina.
The family wishes to thank all her friends and family.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to your local church.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13.
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