Cover photo for Ruth Zumwalt's Obituary
Ruth Zumwalt Profile Photo
1934 Ruth 2021

Ruth Zumwalt

March 10, 1934 — October 2, 2021

Ruth Barron Zumwalt, 87, of Abilene passed away Saturday, October 2, 2021.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel, 5750 US HWY 277 S., Abilene, TX 79606. Interment will follow at Elmwood Memorial Park. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 11:30 Am to 1:00 PM.

Ruth was born on March 10, 1934, in Athens, Texas, to the late Leon Barron and Lessie Hall Barron. In 1953 she graduated from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, with a BA degree in English and Math. And it was then at the age of 19 after she moved to Pasadena, Texas to teach high school math that she soon met James "Jim" T. Zumwalt, her husband of 65 years, on a blind date. They were married on June 5, 1954, in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

As a military wife to a husband whose 27-year Air Force career took them and their three children to postings in Okinawa, Texas, Washington, Illinois, California, Maryland and finally back to Texas, Ruth's pragmatism and organizational strength were used to set up multiple households for the family. And during Jim's year-long remote posting in Greenland, Ruth parented the children alone.

It was in 1978 that the family returned to Texas and settled in Abilene, where Ruth worked at Dillard's as the customer service manager for 10 years, retiring in 1988. Ruth was a member of St. James United Methodist Church, serving on the hospitality committee. She used her computer skills, creativity, and eye for design to create greeting cards for family, and was responsible for all of the monthly birthday and anniversary cards for church members.The cards were so enjoyed and appreciated.

Ruth is survived by her children Taran T. Harraghy, K. Lynne Orchekowski and husband Randy, James B. Zumwalt and wife Sharon; grandchildren, David Kelly Harraghy, Travis Zumwalt and wife Claire, Jamie Ellmore and husband Joey, Molly Miller and husband Dave; and seven great grandchildren. She was so loved and will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Lt. Col. James ("Jim") T. Zumwalt and sister Evelyn Robinson.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Zumwalt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

11:30am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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