Erma Ruth Phenix

Erma Ruth Phenix


Erma “Ruth” Hinman Phenix passed away on February 5,  2021. Ruth was born in Seminole, OK on November 11, 1933 to Wilbur and Jessie Hinman. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Leon, Marshal, Dean, Jack, Ted, and Margaret Hinman, Verna Thornbrugh, Helen Nease, and Grandson Kevin Phenix. She is survived by siblings, Lynda Johnston and Lawrence Hinman, her daughters, Tammy Garrigan and Paula Wood, her son, Greg Phenix, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Services are currently pending.

Erma “Ruth” Hinman Phenix was born in Seminole, OK on November11, 1933 to Wilbur and Jessie Hinman.  Ruth grew up in a good family. It was a big and loving family. She was the middle child of 11 children of which there are only two left – her sister and baby brother. Ruth grew up in Seminole with lots of family. Her dad worked for Texaco and her mom raised the kids. She was close to her parents. Ruth’s father loved his family and was a hard worker. He provided well for them. Her mother had a good sense of humor and laughed often. She was also an excellent cook and was known as the biscuit lady. Ruth and her siblings were always close to each other and stayed in touch. She had so many stories from those years. She told about when one of her sisters was learning to drive. They had an old car that had buckets for seats and a board in the back to sit on. That was back during the war when it was very hard to get tires for the car. Her brother was teaching her how to drive and saw a board with a nail in it on the road ahead. He screamed “Don’t run over that nail!” She swerved and almost threw everyone out of the car. She loved that story and had so much fun in those years and so many stories she loved remembering. She and her siblings were always playing pranks on each other. She told of the time two of her brothers got mad at each other.  One of them was each side of the new screen door and while trying to get to the other one the new screen was cut by a knife.  As punishment their dad made them stand on each side of the screen door and pass a needle back and forth to repair the screen. It was a learning experience for them. Ruth loved her family.  She also made a lot of friends during that time and even played some basketball in high school.

Ruth’s first job out of school was at the Seminole hospital in the accounting department. From there she went to work for the phone company. She eventually moved to Oklahoma City and worked for Blue Cross Blue shield. She enjoyed the job and traveled as a field representative and did workshops. She really enjoyed that job. Then she moved to Galveston to work for the University of Texas as a medical scheduler. She also liked the job in Galveston. Wherever she worked people thought of her as a hard worker and a good friend. At one time she organized a lady’s night out for the women at work. She eventually retired from that job in Galveston.

Ruth was a good mom and loved her kids. She did the best she could for them. Tammy was the first born. Then 18 months later Paula came along. And then 3 years later Greg was born. She loved them all. She always worked and was a hard-working mother. But she made sure they had good babysitters. She was involved in her children’s activities as she could be. She took Tammy to piano. And both of her girls to dance lessons. She also went to Greg’s ball games when she could.  Ruth was also a good cook and made great fried chicken. She was known for her pecan pies at Thanksgiving. And the holidays were fun times.  There would be big family get togethers which were great times and a lot of fun for everyone. She had such a good family. She was close to her sisters and her best friend was her sister Linda.  She loved to be silly with her sister.  But the whole family had fun when they were together.  They would have bonfires. There were so many good memories from those years. Her sisters and brothers were a major influence in her life.

As you remember the things Ruth loved to do you likely remember how she loved to sing. When the whole family was in the car, they had a list of songs that they sang. And she had a beautiful voice. She also liked to write poetry.

She loved to read the Bible and would watch religious programs on television. She enjoyed reading romance novels. She liked to play Wahoo and was incredibly good at Scrabble. She enjoyed doing crosswords puzzles and would do them on the phone with her sister Verna.

She liked to watch TV and especially if there was a musical playing. Her favorite musical was Sound of Music. When it came out in the theater, she saw it 6 times. She loved musicals. She also loved a good western and John Wayne movies.

Ruth enjoyed getting out in her flower bed at the duplex and working in it. She loved her morning glories and other flowers.

She loved to eat. These last few years she especially enjoyed Kentucky fried chicken. She also liked pizza and talked about taking her mom to get Shotguns pizza. Those were fun memories. She did enjoy eating and loved it when Paula would make her chicken tetrazzini. But when you think of her and food you probably remember her breakfast routine. Little Debbie oatmeal cookies and hot tea. She always drank hot tea. She loved her hot tea in the morning.

And as you remember the things Ruth loved, being a grandmother was high up that list.  Ruth loved being a grandmother.  After she retired, she moved to Edmond to be near her twin grandbabies. As a grandmother she was good to make an effort to attend events even for those in Mississippi. She worked hard to make it to their events and concerts or whatever they were involved in at the time. She had gone to her kid’s events and continued that tradition with her grandkids. She went to their plays and extracurricular activities. She went to band concerts or to their games when she could. All the grandkids have their own special memories of her.

So many memories of this special lady.

Ruth lived with her daughter the last two years of her life and went to the nursing home in November.  She was Paula’s buddy and close friend.

Each will carry on their own special memories of Ruth. But as you remember her life some of the things that stand out about her character is how she was determined person. She started over when needed. You will likely also recall her loyalty to her family. And how she was a hard worker. And of course, how she liked to sing and laugh.  So many memories of laughter and time with family.  You would hear that laughter when she played a game. When she was younger and would take the kids to go see her parents there was always a lot of laughter.  The whole family would gather and play Rook or some other game.  And all the kids would hear them in the next room laughing and carrying on late into the night. She enjoyed those times with family.

Those good memories are worth treasuring.  May God help us to take those cherished memories and plant them deep within our hearts where they can blossom and grow and continue to bless us and others.  Helen Keller has a famous quote that reads, “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose…All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

As each travels a journey of grief may “The Lord bless you and keep you; the make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

3 thoughts on “Erma Ruth Phenix”

  1. Lynda Johnston

    My precious sister and life-long best friend. I have missed spending time with you over the last few years and I am so thankful that we talked often on the phone. What a blessing and sweet and precious memories I have, my loving sister. See you soon on the other side!

  2. Janet Winters

    I have such wonderful memories when Aunt Ruth would come pick me up and take me back to spend the night with her. She always let me play in her makeup (which, by the way, I never saw her without it on her pretty face) and patiently played games with me. She made me feel like I was the most special little girl in the world when I was with her. Will see you in Heaven one day, Aunt Ruth!

  3. Terry Hinman Black

    My precious, Auntie Ruthie, oh how I loved her beautiful little self!
    I always remember Aunt Ruth stopping by mom and dads house every time she was passing through Stroud. Her “quick visits” always ended with a bologna sandwich, (poor mans round steak), a can of pork and beans, a plate of green onions, a freshly opened bag of Lay’s Potato Chips, and a package of Oreos. Fine dining at its best! Still one of my favorite meals.
    The best part of Aunt Ruth’s stop overs were the stories that accompanied. There were always stories and laughter.

    I always loved sitting around the table hearing stories about my dad when he was a child. Aunt Ruth and Aunt Lynda had volumes of witnesses statements about dad. He was a real life legend and they loved him fiercely! The feeling was mutual too!

    I can remember dad always being on the phone with one of his sisters. If he was laughing, or talking about scriptures, it was Aunt Lynda, if he was talking about a recipe, jobs or children, it was Aunt Ruth, if he was trying to incite his cantankerous side, it was, Aunt Verna. He knew he had fulfilled his mission whenever she hung up on him. Oh how he loved being hung up on! He’d literally roll around on his bed retelling the story to mom and me in all of its glorious detail, then call Aunt Verna to apologize.

    Whenever dad had a more tender, serious tone, I always knew he was talking to Aunt Helen. Just a call each night to let her know he cared and was deeply loved. She knew he loved her. All of his beautiful sisters knew he loved them.

    Aunt Ruth was the one in the family who tried to stay connected to everyone in the family which is rather difficult with ten brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews. She never wanted anyone to feel left behind or forgotten.
    She always knew where the most obscure, third cousin , Uncle Freddy’s boy was living now.
    One time I said, “Aunt Ruth, thank you for always caring about my life. Thank you for buying and teaching me how to make pork chop gravy TWICE until You knew I had conquered, The Hinman Girl Skillet Gravy!
    Thank you for boxing my ears when I told you I was frying pork chops in my new TFalon skillet.
    I had not yet mastered the ways of the cast iron.
    Thank you for being Luke’s first babysitter.
    Thank you for all the pecan pies you’ve made Kevin.
    Thank you for being intentional with our clan, our tribe, folks, gang, The Deadly Dozen………”whatever anyone calls us, Terry Ann, everybody needs one!”

    THE ONE THING I have been thinking about since you left, Aunt Ruth is that you are seeing His face. Heavenly rest , no more exhaustion of mind or body. His sweet, beautiful face.
    I can only imagine.

    I love you 💕 💕

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top