Known for her great faith, steadfast commitment to her husband of 38 years, Rev. Richard Young, love of her five children, and passionate devotion to creativity, excellence, education, and children everywhere, Ruth proclaimed that her purpose on this earth was to be a “champion for children.” She constantly strived to become the best she could be. She praised and served the Lord in every area of her life. She brought life to every environment and always, in her humble way, gave more than expected. She was full of joy and enthusiasm with a spark in her eye, an easy smile, a hearty laugh, and a word from God for anyone she met.
Ruth was born on May 15, 1958, to Dorothy Douglas and Raymond James DeYoung in Beaumont, TX. She grew up in San Antonio, TX where her love of tennis, learning, and music blossomed at East Central High School. She was one of the top female high school tennis players in the city and received a scholarship to the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch.
While in college at McMurry University in Abilene, TX she met Richard Young, and they married on June 14, 1980. While there, they both participated in several singing groups and formed lifelong friendships. She accompanied Richard to Wilmore, Kentucky for his seminary training, and she graduated from Asbury College with a BA in Elementary Education in 1983.
The couple received their first pastoral appointment at the First United Methodist Church in Del Rio, TX and served there from 1983 to 1986. During this time they welcomed their first daughter, Dorothy, and Ruth was actively involved in youth ministry.
William and Kristin were born during their next appointment at the First United Methodist Church of Sterling City, TX, 1986 – 1990. Ruth received her Montessori Education Certification and started a preschool named Young Discoveries, which is still in operation today.
The growing family moved to their next church, First United Methodist Church of Cuero, TX in 1990 and lived there until 1993. It was here that Ruth gave birth to Mercy, started an afterschool program as a church outreach, and homeschooled her four children.
From 1993-1998, Richard was appointed to St. Peter’s by the Sea United Methodist Church in Flour Bluff, TX. During this period, their fifth child Angela was born. Ruth turned her attention to developing a new and dynamic children’s ministry. She utilized puppets and music to present the gospel of Christ in a new and exciting way, reaching hundreds of children.
Along with their five children, Ruth and Rev. Richard served the congregation at the First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls, TX from 1998 to 2003. Ruth continued her children’s program and expanded it into a premiere ministry of the church. She became involved with Pray Texas and would pray for each Texas county as she drove through them. This became a life-long practice and many will fondly remember her raising her hands and singing “Lord, we pray for this city.”
Richard and Ruth also served at First United Methodist Church Uvalde, TX from 2003 – 2006, again at First United Methodist Church Del Rio from 2006 – 2010, Universal City United Methodist Church from 2010 – 2015, Wimberley United Methodist Church from 2015 – 2017, and began ministry at First United Methodist Church El Campo in 2017. As a member of each of these churches Ruth participated in the music ministry, education programs, the Emmaus Community, and was always a prayer leader in the congregations and communities wherever her husband was appointed. The day before her accident she participated in a prayer walk and planning of a new after-school ministry to serve the children and staff at Hutchins Elementary. Her witness has had a significant impact on many United Methodist churches throughout Texas.
Ruth served as a teacher for 24 years in various school settings. In 2007, Ruth became a Certified Neuro-Education Specialist to help children with learning disabilities. She worked with her friend and business partner, Jan Bedell, at Little Giant Steps for over 11 years, traveling extensively to support families and help children improve brain function. She was the Academic Dean at the Little Giant Steps Professional Education Training and was writing curriculum to instruct future Neuro-Education Specialists.
Ruth became very health conscious in her later years, participating in many 5k races, a 10k, and a half marathon. She ran with joy and loved that her runs helped support ministries and organizations across the state. She played tennis regularly, lifted weights, ran, and trained for the “monster hill” at the end of the annual 5k in Blanco, TX that she would run with her daughter, Dorothy. She was excited to finally move into the 60 year-old bracket as she was better poised to win her age group; she has many medals demonstrating her commitment to excellence.
Ruth Young is survived by her husband, Rev. Richard A. Young; their children, Dorothy and Brian Hecimovich of Port Lavaca, William Young of Arlington, Kristin and Ian Mudge of Irving, Mercy and Kenny Fisher of Del Rio, and Angela Young and her fiancé Esteven Rosales of Abilene; grandchildren Annabelle and Axton Fisher of Del Rio; her mother, Dorothy DeYoung of Huntsville; bothers James Ray DeYoung of Niceville, FL and William Thomas DeYoung of San Antonio; and sisters (in-law) Gloria Bowling of Jasper and Nancy Bourcier of Tehachapi, CA.
She was preceded in death by her father, Raymond James DeYoung.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls under the direction of Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home. Reverend Ellen Ely will officiate with the assistance of several beloved clergy friends.
Serving as honorary pallbearers are members of the clergy who shared in the ministry journey with Ruth and Richard as part of their family of faith.
The family requests that memorials be made to the Children’s Ministry of your church.