Ruth Benner Leaman, 101, farmer, baker at Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop, hand-braided wool rugs

By on October 11, 2017

Ruth Benner Leaman, 101, went home to be with her Lord, at Fairmount Homes, Ephrata, on Wednesday morning Oct. 4, 2017.

Ruth was born in Akron, the fourth child of Charles S. and Mabel (Winey) Benner. She grew up on the family farm in Akron and graduated from West Earl Township High School in 1933. Ruth then worked at Miller Hess Shoe Company until she married Paul Rowe Leaman in 1940.

Ruth and Paul farmed the Leaman Homestead on Creek Hill Road, Lancaster from 1940 until 1970. She loved gardening and sold many vegetables on Fridays and Saturdays on a route through Lancaster City. In 1970, Ruth went to work two days a week at the Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop baking many kinds of angel food cakes (sometimes as many as 200 cakes a day) until she retired in 2006.

Ruth also liked to hand-braid wool rugs for herself, for family, and for relief. She also refinished many pieces of antique furniture. Whatever Ruth found to do, she did well. Ruth also loved to spend January until mid-March in southern Florida for 30 years. Paul and Ruth enjoyed 44 years together before Paul’s passing in May of 1984.

She is survived by two sons: Paul Richard, husband of Phyllis Landis Leaman; John Harold, husband of Patricia Yunginger Leaman; five grandchildren: Douglas, husband of Kelly Reese Leaman; Tara Linh Leaman; John H. II, husband of Elizabeth Barley Leaman; Mark C., husband of Andrea Stoner Leaman; Stephen D., husband of Mikaela Hostetter Leaman; eight great-grandchildren: Zach Leaman, Chloe Leaman, J. Pierce Leaman, Henry S. Leaman, William F. Leaman, Margaret S. Leaman, Alexander J. Leaman, and Adam Paul Leaman; one sister: Irene Hess.

She was preceded in death by four siblings, Evelyn, Robert, Harold, and Dwight Benner. Ruth was the last surviving member of her 26-member friendship circle.

Ruth was an active member of Stumptown Mennonite Church since 1940. She taught Sunday school and was treasurer of the sewing circle into her eighties, and rarely missed a Sunday until her move to Fairmount Homes in December of 2014.

The memorial service was held Oct. 7 at Stumptown Mennonite Church, Bird-in-Hand. Interment was private.

Memorials may be sent to Mennonite Disaster Service, 583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543.

Condolences and memories may be shared at Furman Home for Funerals, Leola, handled the arrangements.

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