Orta Lee Ruggles Cameron-Comstock, age 91, of Shell Knob, Missouri, passed away Monday, March 18, 2013, in Meridan Village Retirement Center in Edwardsville.
She was born September 27, 1921, in Downing, Schyler County, Missouri. She was the daughter of Joseph B. Ruggles and Cleda Elschlager Ruggles. On Mother’s Day, 1943, she was united in marriage to Maurice Alan Cameron and to this union three children were born. Maurice preceded her in death in 1986. She later married the late Irving Comstock. Also preceding her in death were her son Rodrick Maurice Cameron, her parents, Joseph and Cleda Ruggles and her broth- ers and sisters, Harold, Garland, Jim, David, Joseph, Tyra, Ruth and Mary Lou.
She is survived by two sons, Dr. Larry Cameron of Omaha, Nebraska and Dr. Errick Cameron and wife, Cindy of Edwardsville; one brother Derwood Ruggles of Aledo; two sisters, Dortha McMurray of Bloomington, and Virginia Ruggles of Santa Maria, California; ten grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
At 18 years of age Orta started teaching in a one- room schoolhouse in rural Illinois. Teaching soon became her passion as she enrolled into Western State College for Teachers, later changed to Western Illinois University. This would springboard a teaching career that spanned 49 additional years, the last sixteen at Shell Knob Community Grade School. She received a Masters Degree from Northern Illinois University in Special Education in 1967. Ten years of service took place while teaching reading to inner city teens, often taking an illiterate child to a middle school reading proficiency within a 9-month period.
A love for children was reflected in her devotion as a mother and a grandmother. She will be remembered by her family for her oven fresh cookies and pies, but especially, for a tender caring ear and vote of confi- dence given to her loved ones. A dozen unrelated youths called her Mom as they moved into her shelter for months at a time when they dealt with their own personal family strife’s. Orta also enjoyed quilting and gardening and much joy was received by her time fish- ing with her late husbands, Maurice and Irving at Table Rock Lake, where she lived the last 38 years. She will be missed by her wonderful friends at the First Christian Church of Shell Knob and by her devoted friend Ed Hill of Needles Eye.
The family will receive friends at First Christian Church of Shell Knob on Saturday, March 23, 2013, starting at 12:30 P.M. until service time. Funeral servic- es were held at 1:30 P.M. with Pastor Tom Rees presid- ing. Burial will be in Painter Cemetery, Shell Knob, under the direction of Fohn Funeral Home, Shell Knob.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that contribu- tions be made to the Memorial Fund of the First Christian Church of Shell Knob, Hospice of Southern Illinois or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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