Ruth (Gossage) Byrum, age 92, of Russellville, Ark., died Oct. 15, 2020, at Legacy Heights Nursing Center. She was born Dec. 10, 1927, in Henryetta to Samuel H. and Bertie Inez (Purdon) Gossage, and was a member of First Christian Church in Russellville.
She graduated in 1946, at Dewar High School, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Northeastern State College, Tahlequah in 1950, a master’s degree in education from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater in 1954, and a second master’s degree in Library Science from Oklahoma University, Norman in 1974.
She was a member of Oklahoma Retired Educators Association and a life member of Beta Sigma Phi in Henrietta, Oklahoma. After a long public school teaching career in Henryetta, Okmulgee, County Oklahoma at Gulftown, Jefferson Elementary and Henryetta Elementary School as teacher, principle or librarian, she took early retirement in 1984, making a total of 38 years as an educator.
On October 14, 1985, she was united in marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Homer G. Byrum in Russellville. He passed away July 28, 1991. She was also preceded in death by her parents in 1974, and 1975, a brother, George William “Bill” Gossage in 1991, two sisters, Nancy (Estella) Gossage in 1990, and Shirley Ann Gossage in 2010, a brother-in-law, Foster Byrum, three sisters-in-law, Mae Duvall, Malissa Taylor, and Chloe Lunningham.
Survivors include six nephews: Burlin Lunningham, Terry (Vickie) Lunningham, Gilbert (Diane) Duvall, Jim (Judy) Taylor, Gene (Debbie) Taylor, all of Russellville and Vannie Taylor of Benton, Ark.; five nieces: Nancy Lunningham of Atkins, Arkansas, Mary (Bob) Burnett, Lynn (Ronald) Chenault all of Russellville, Judy (Jim) Hegmann of Texarkana, Ark., and Bertie (Jimmy) Jackson of Florida; cousins: Bruno (Leanah) Hampton of Russellville, Billy (Glenda) Burris of Springfield, Missouri, Warner Ray (Carolyn) Baxter of Henryetta, James (Sandra) Purdom, Frank (Joann) Purdom, Paul (Edylee) Purdom, Bob (June) Purdom, Patricia (Ned) Ireland, Don (Peggy) Davis, Wallace (Glenda) Davis all of Texas. Elbert Purdom, Nancy (Frank) Rude of Michigan; other relatives, friends and church family.
The graveside service will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Westlawn Memorial Park at Henryetta and under the direction of Integrity Funeral Home, 410 East Trudgeon Street, Henryetta, Oklahoma 74437.
There will be a local open visitation from 1 to 3 p.m., Oct. 19, 2020, at Shinn Funeral Service. Arrangements are by Shinn Funeral Service of Russellville.
Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church, 103 South Boston Avenue, Russellville, Arkansas 72801, First Christian Church, 5th and Cummings, Henryetta, Oklahoma 74437, medical research, or a charity of choice.