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Alexander Funeral Home - North Chapel

4200 Stringtown Road, Evansville, IN

OBITUARY

Rev. Ruth Elizabeth Milgate

February 10, 1930March 7, 2020

Reverend Ruth Elizabeth Milgate, 90, of Indianapolis, formerly of Evansville, Indiana, passed away Saturday, March 7, 2020. She was surrounded by all of her children. Born February 10, 1930, to Thomas M. and Lois (McSparin) Halterman in Carbondale, Illinois, she was the fifth of seven children, and the twin to James Edwin, who died shortly after he was born. Growing up as the only girl in the family, Ruth enjoyed playing sports with her brothers Cyrus, Gerald, Harold, Earl, Edward, and Charles, and had the nickname “Pickles.”

A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Ruth began as an elementary school teacher and married Melvin Milgate in 1952. She and Melvin had four children, Ronald, Karen, Barbara, & Deborah. She received a Masters of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary in 1979, one of only two awarded to women that year. She then served in succession in the Southern Indiana United Methodist Conference, at Pleasant Hill UMC in Thorntown, East Side UMC in Connersville, Ellettsville UMC, and Blue Grass UMC in Evansville. Inspired by her service as an Innkeeper at Harvard House, a ministry to women recovering from substance abuse in Washington, D.C., Ruth committed the next decade of her life to creating these services for women in Evansville. In 2008, “Ruth’s House” opened to its first residents. Ruth was 78 years old. In her “retirement,” she also served as the minister to a local mission church in Evansville.

Known throughout the years simply as “Pastor Ruth,” she was an energetic spiritual leader, and a woman who built up and saw the best in the community around her. She was someone who provided comfort and was a friend to all around her. She loved singing, reading and meditating, making things happen wherever she went, and tried always to do the right thing, guided by her faith.

Loved dearly by her children, Ruth was also a devoted Mother to four and Grandmother to five. She was a powerful role model, fantastic cook, and had no limits to her love. She encouraged and pushed each of her children to explore his or her talents, and made sure they had the tools to succeed. In a crunch, she was the first one to come running. She was a big personality and she will be sorely missed. She was also a beloved sister and Aunt to dozens of nieces and nephews.

Ruth is survived by her four children, Ronald Milgate (Diane), Karen Milgate (Mark Littman), Barbara Milgate (Herb Jackson), and Deborah Pollack-Milgate (Howard), five grandchildren, Kali Milgate, Camille Franks, Sophie, Benjamin, and Daniel Pollack-Milgate, and her two brothers, Edward and Charles.

Visitation will occur on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at Alexander North Chapel 4200 Stringtown Road, Evansville IN from 5:00-8:00 p.m. (5:00 to 6:00 p.m., for family, and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for all). Funeral services and a celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 a.m., March 13 at Blue Grass United Methodist Church-Chapel Sanctuary, 14240 Petersburgh Road, Evansville IN, officiated by Doug Heiman, with burial to follow.

Memorial contributions in Ruth’s honor may be made to Blue Grass UMC, United Caring Services for Ruth’s House, at unitedcaringservices.org, or the Equal Justice Initiative at EJI.org. Condolences may be made online at www.AlexanderNorthChapel.com.

  • FAMILY

  • Ronald Milgate (Diane), Son
  • Karen Milgate (Mark Littman), Daughter
  • Barbara Milgate (Herb Jackson), Daughter
  • Deborah Pollack-Milgate (Howard), Daughter
  • Kali Milgate, Grandchild
  • Camille Franks, Grandchild
  • Sophie Pollack-Milgate, Grandchild
  • Benjamin Pollack-Milgate, Grandchild
  • Daniel Pollack-Milgate, Grandchild
  • Edward Halterman, Brother
  • Charles Halterman, Brother
  • Rev. Ruth E. Milgate, also, leaves behind many nieces and nephews to cherish her memory.

Services

  • Family Visitation Thursday, March 12, 2020
  • Public Visitation Thursday, March 12, 2020
  • Funeral Service and Celebration of Life Friday, March 13, 2020

Memories

Rev. Ruth Elizabeth Milgate

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ADD A MEMORY
Marty VanStone

March 18, 2020

So sorry I didn't get to Ruth's funeral. I really wanted to be there. Ruth was a wonderful friend of mine and my husband, Jack. We worked with her on "Ruth's House" and other projects here in Evansville. I was happy to read recently that Ruth's House is now part of United Caring Center. I think it would make Ruth very happy with that connection. I'll never forget that beautiful smile she always had and the dreams she had. Sincerely, Marty VanStone

Frederick Cain

March 13, 2020

I am sadden to learn of Ruth's passing. She was a colleague and friend.

amy gerth

March 12, 2020

Ruth was a precious lady. She was one of the spiritual directors when I went through Walk to Emmaus and she was wonderful during that weekend. Of course I always think of her when I drive by Ruth's House on Walnut and the passion she had for those in recovery. She leaves behind a beautiful legacy of faith.

Jeffery Halterman

March 11, 2020

Aunt Ruth always made you smile. She was one of the most positive people I know. She did a lot to help my mother Lillie Mae when she was failing in health. I was very thankful to her. God blessed our family with her presence and I know heaven has received a wonderful soul. God bless you all and peace be with you.

Charlotte Lee

March 11, 2020

I was honored to work some Emmaus Walks with Ruth. She taught, mentored and always had time to talk. She was a blessing to me.
Prayers for her family and friends

sheri bell

March 11, 2020

Ron, Karen, Barb and Deb,
My condolences to you all and your families. I'm sorry I won't be able to attend Aunt Ruth's service. I'll miss her beautiful smile and her laugh. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Love to all,
Sheri

Barbara Schneider (Porter)

March 11, 2020

There is nothing in my heart that weighs heavier now knowing that Ruth Milgate is no longer with us. As I know she is in a better place, to have had the chance and personal experience of being part of her life, is/was a true blessing. Ruth and her family have very deep and meaningful memories that will be in my heart forever. As I saw her many times at Robin Run (where she resided and where my parents live), her infectious smile and upbeat personality is one that I want have as I age in my life. My heart goes out to all her family and friends. I know she will be terribly missed, but I know that she is with god and doing her good dead up in heaven looking with a huge smile down at us all.

Prayers and love to you all.

Barbara (Porter) Schneider

Michelle Biltimier

March 10, 2020

I have so many fond memories of growing up with the Milgate family. Ruth always made me feel so welcome in their home and I was there a lot as a kid. There are too many memories to count. She helped so many and her presence will be greatly missed.

Gloria Boedeker

March 10, 2020

Ruth was a friend of mine at Robin Run. One day I over heard her telling someone about how she would like to get to Silver Spring, MD to visit a daughter but did not want to travel alone. I had already had a plane ticket to fly into Baltimore to visit a son, so I went up to her and said that if she got a plane ticket to fly with me, we could go together - so we did. We each had a child picking us up and went our way. Coming home, we were on the same flight and met at the gate . Robin Run transport picked us up at the Indy airport and got us back to Robin Run. We were friends ever sisnce. Will really miss Ruth. My sympathy to all of you,. With Love and Friendship, Gloria Boedeker

Kathy Moss

March 10, 2020

I'm sorry I won't be able to make it to Aunt Ruth's celebration service. Sending my love and prayers to all of you.
Kathy