Our dear friend Ruth Clements died on Thursday 26th March. She will be sorely missed but we trust that she is now with the God she loved and knew.

Below are some tributes to Ruth. If you’d like to send a tribute please send it to david@goodnewshurst.co.uk. I’ve reordered them so the newest ones are now at the top.

Below is a sermon on John 11 which speaks of the hope we can have for Ruth.

Ruth, it was an honour to have known you and call you a friend. I always enjoyed our Tuesday afternoons together, you always apologised for the mess but knew I would sort it out. We always had a laugh, I’ll never forget when I stopped the traffic in the high street so you could cross, only to find your wheel got stuck in a pothole half way across, we caused chaos but we did laugh. I will miss you dearly, rest now.
(Lucy Martin)

Although I have known Ruth for some years our friendship really grew when her health began to bring new challenges. Over coffee trips, sharing of enormous cheese scones I learnt more about her life and her mum, so dearly loved. She spoke of her talents and sense of humour and I could tell Ruth was indeed her mother’s daughter!

Her courage always understated impressed me so much. It still gives me real joy as I recall Ruth speaking of her faith in the Lord, of her love of Psalm 23 (read at her adult baptism). It has been her travel guide through life.

Through many trials her faith sustained her, a real challenge to me. I am so glad to have had her friendship;  now with her Lord and as God’s word says, receiving a crown of life. (Shirley Goldin)

Ruth always showed great concern for people and even as she struggled she made time for a smile and conversation. I didn’t know her as well as other Church members but I knew her enough to know her faith to be a great encouragement. Ruth was simply a nice person with a sincere and warming attitude.

We will miss her and Heaven gains where we have lost. (Mike Ives)

I initially met Ruth in 1995 when she became my boss in a new job. Ruth was a firm but fair taskmaster, but always helped us retain our sense of humour under pressure. I can remember a senior manager commenting there was too much laughter in our team, although we always got the job done!

As many have quoted, Ruth never, ever complained about her ‘lot’. I asked her one day how she retained her resilience and positive outlook. Her instant reply was because she had faith. From that day on I thought of Ruth as the poster girl for the power of religion!

Ruth’s humour and laughter was infectious, even when related to the health issues that life had thrown at her. People would sometimes walk into the office in Haywards Heath thinking Ruth wasn’t there, to be told she was lying on the floor behind her desk to stretch! Or when we moved to an open plan office in Burgess Hill, hearing a loud thump as Ruth ended up on the floor, with a hand reaching up (Vincent Price style) and a shout of “I’m okay”, followed by Ruth’s laughter.

In the last few years, I’d meet Ruth during the warmer months with my dog Yogi. We’d pop off to the Sussex Prairie Garden (which I only discovered because of Ruth), a garden centre, or to catch-up with mutual friends, such as Tracy, Jenny and Nina. We’d always have a giggle as we tried to bundle Ruth into the car or extract her out of it! We’d have a jolly good natter and eat too much scrumptious fayre! Ruth loved her food, especially cake, and good for her!

I will miss Ruth dearly, but I’m grateful for the many uplifting memories of working and socialising with Ruth. Him upstairs tried very hard to get Ruth by His side but didn’t factor Ruth’s grit and determination! May you now rest in peace Ruth, you so very much deserve it. (Aaron Summers)

Ruth was the most lovable, inspirational human being. Not just by her own bravery in her suffering, but by her own special fun factor, that we all loved. She’ll be so sadly missed. However we’re so happy that she belongs to God’s wider family, “and the angels rejoiced at a sinner saved”. Hallelujah! (Ron and Shirley Johnson)

I can’t believe we only met 3 years ago! I think it was our shared, slightly naughty sense of humour which first drew us together in Kleinwort.
I remember all the times we laughed together at your flat, Kleinwort + in hospital. I shall always remember our length chats interspersed with laughter. Such fun times.

I shall also always remember our discussions about sewing – looking at threads, discussing ‘the best ones’, chatting about things we’d done.

Most of all I remember you telling me of your wonderful church, the people who make it up, how you + your Mum used to have lunch in the Poacher afterwards! And I remember the first time you took me to ‘Senior Moments’. I was so nervous but I needn’t have been. As you said I was welcomed with open arms. I felt the “family” straight away, just as you said, and sat with you that very next Sunday in church.

Thank you so much Ruth for your friendship, your kindness, your wisdom + the laughs we shared and most of all for introducing me back to the church. I sit in your seat now, hope you don’t mind, but you will never be forgotten.
(Rosemary Roberts)

Ruth was a lovely lady and a real asset to our church. We loved her creativity, her sense of humour, her long skirts and her crazy hats!

She was always positive and persevering, never one to give in to her many difficulties.
Ruth loved our monthly church lunches! The sight of those two tables loaded with good things to eat made it difficult for her to choose. She always provided a joint of ham which we all loved. Her piece de resistance was the array of desserts – she loved them all, which should she choose? She would say “I shouldn’t (have a second helping) but I will!”
She really enjoyed life.

It was a privilege to have known her and we shall miss her enormously.
(Lawrence & Elisabeth Evans)

I worked with Ruth since 2007 through to her retirement and have stayed in touch since, meeting on occasions when she had been well enough for lunch with my husband Tim and our friend Aaron.  Whilst working together she told me many of her stories of her dance days and her love of musicals. 

Ruth was always filled with such fun and always was so positive even after everything she had to deal with health wise.  She was very self-effacing and rarely let things get her down.

She was a joy to be with and we will miss her beautiful soul very much indeed.  May she now be at peace in spirit.  (Tracy and Tim Abernethy)

How to tribute a Wonder Woman that is Ruth.   I had the great fortune of having her enter my world due to my then business on the High street around mid 8o’s.   Her mother came into me distressed due to Ruth at that time being diagnosed with M S.  Aileen was the ultimate optimist / eccentric lovable character known on the High street for the ever present smile and push chair with  her one eye  Pekingese  sitting upright enjoying his public!!!  Ruth loved her deeply having her  living safely with her enabling   company and love until her passing.   

Ruth finished work I think around early 2016 and set about redecorating and a promise to herself And I quote””” Linda now I can sort myself out”””   To his day and I love her for it she is still trying.   I use her in the present tense as I feel her always around.     Like myself we loved and shared a great love of theatre especially musicals. One of the great loves was the dance sequence from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  She was a stage dancer herself and we shared some great stories over fish and chip suppers.  A great thing to come out of her newly found free time was our trip to Buckingham Palace.  Such a confidence boost for her to agree to.  She managed all 17 rooms and absolutely loved it.  The only fly in the ointment that day September 2016 was finding out whilst ringing to order a taxi that our High Street had a major fire!!!  We continued to enjoy the Hurst Festival that month. We did so many shows the Hawth Crawley, Fiddler on the Roof, and a wonderful Jane Austin evening at the Dome.   So many more  

Then sadly the pain in her shoulder loomed its head and from that we all that know  her situation changed. Her beloved brothers ever present in her life. Sunday evenings she looked forward from her brother Peters call from Tennessee. I was so fortunate to be a part of her family and numerous friends. I love her and will miss her greatly of late seeing her daily.   I  only hope her non complaining upbeat positivity has somewhere rubbed a little onto myself.  Any little niggles I have or had my Mantra is and always will be I could be Ruth.  She bore everything with love hope and dignity.   Ruth my dear special mad friend you have left me to find my own eccentricities and  sing along to South Pacific and many others. How to fill the large hole you have left.    Send me the moon and stars…      (Linda Chase)

“Ruth must be one of the most positive people I have ever come across.  Whatever she was going through, she still seemed to smile from within.  It was such a pleasure to take an hour out of my life to go and have a chat with her, talk tapestry, dancing, our fellowship…….  We will never know how hard it must have been for her with her various problems, but you would never have known.  To me she never seemed unwell, she was the same immoveable Ruth through all the time I knew her.

When I started to lead services she was always totally supportive and I could tell that she really appreciated my attempts.  She would always comment on the song choices, especially if they included one of her favourites.  She was always saying how too many songs are about us and she loved it when we could sing to or about God with the words of the song.

She never had a bad word to say about anyone, except perhaps some nursing staff towards the end of her prolonged health service residences.  She oozed faith and was totally trusting in Jesus and where she was going.  She has really showed us what it means to have Jesus as one’s Rock.  Let’s hope that we can take heed from this unswerving reliance and be able to suffer with such dignity and joy.” (Dickon Adams)