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Mary Ruth Sampson-Grinnell

March 13, 1929 August 1, 2014
Mary Ruth Sampson-Grinnell
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Obituary for Mary Ruth Sampson-Grinnell

Mary Ruth Briggs Sampson Grinnell


The songs of the angels became a little sweeter when Our Gracious Heavenly Father called His precious daughter Mary Ruth Briggs Sampson Grinnell home on Friday, August 1, 2014. Mary, known as Ruth by many, was born March 13, 1929 to the late Ephraim Beaman and Stella Irene (Smith) Briggs.


Ruth was the second born child of Ephraim and Stella. As well as her parents, Ruth was predeceased by brothers James who died in infancy, Richard, and Donald as well as her sister Lou Ellen Myers. Ruth was also preceded in death by both of her husbands, four children, grandchildren Vonda K. Sampson and Phillip E. Young, and sons in law Frank Young and Donald Kowalis.


On November 10, 1945 Ruth married her handsome cowboy Albert Boyd Sampson. They had seven children together, four of whom welcomed Ruth to heaven: James B., Barbara Anne, Albert E. “Buddy”, and Mary Lynne Rivett. Ruth is survived by her daughters Ruth Anne Kowalis of Yuma, AZ and Nancy and Bruce Bowland of High Springs, FL and Gladwin, MI as well as her son Thomas Michael Sampson of George West, TX. Ruth also leaves behind her daughter in law Judy Sampson of Beaverton, MI, her son in law and his wife David and Marilyn Rivett of Sanford, MI and dear friends Martha Williston of Gladwin, MI and Ronald Jordan of High Springs, FL and Gladwin, MI.


Still carrying on Ruth’s legacy are fifteen grandchildren: Tammy Nelson, Karrilynn Sigourney, Norma Young, Tracie Rivett, Chad Bowland, Angela Hart, Trisha Anderson, Shellie Halfmann, Michael Sampson, Megan Tanner, Frank Aaron Young, Brecken Bowland, Barbra Young, Jeremy Sampson, and Jamie Sampson. Her legacy grows as well in twenty five great grandchildren and six great, great grandchildren. Ruth will also be missed by countless nieces, nephews, cousins, family friends, and loved ones. Ruth took great pleasure in watching all of these loved ones enjoy their property on Secord Lake. At one time or another each of her grandchildren believed they were her favorite. Having your picture on Grandma’s wall of honor was a special blessing.


Ruth was a lifelong Christian who embodied “Love your neighbor as yourself”. After the sudden death of Boyd in 1972, Ruth went on to marry Russell A. Grinnell in 1975. Beginning in the early 1980’s Ruth and Russ wintered in Arizona. In 1982 they purchased a home in Yuma where they wintered until 1995. During their travels from Michigan to Arizona each year they met many more loved ones. As Ruth would say, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”


Throughout her lifetime Ruth brightened the lives not only of her loved ones but all those strangers as well. As her children grew and brought friends home and later her grandchildren and so on, Ruth’s circle of love just kept growing. More than one person has expressed what an impact Ruth has on their life. All felt loved by Ruth whether she was the mother figure they needed or the grandma they looked up to.


Several have said that Ruth also embodied unconditional love. She always had the grace to accept whoever walked through her door with open arms and loved them wherever they were, no questions asked. Ruth also took her loved ones to the Lord in daily prayer which showed so many how to live a life filled with the love of Jesus emanating from you. She told everyone about God’s precious blessing of salvation.


Not only was Ruth God’s faithful servant, she worked as an assistant mail carrier and on call clerk at the Sanford Post Office for years. After her retirement in 1982, Ruth worked at Kmart in Yuma for a number of years. She was also an awesome Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. Once again, these were opportunities for her to share the love of Jesus. Ruth was a very special lady that lit up the room where ever she went. She will be dearly missed.


Funeral Services will be held Monday August 4, 2014 at 11 am from Sisson Funeral Home with her nephew Elder Roger Wiltse presiding with inurnment at Highland Cemetery. Family will greet friends on Sunday from 6 to 8 pm and Monday from 10 am until services.


Visitation Sunday 6 to 8 pm
   Monday 10am until time of services

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