Ruth Arlene DeSutter

February 21, 1929February 15, 2021

PEKIN Ruth Arlene (Urish) DeSutter, 91, of Pekin, passed away peacefully at 1:46 a.m. Monday, February 15, 2021 at UnityPoint Health – Methodist in Peoria.

Born February 21, 1929 in Pekin to Henry and Annetta E. (Wilts) Urish, she married August DeSutter on September 22, 1950 in Pekin. He died in December 1991 in Pekin. She was also preceded in death by her parents and one nephew, Daniel S. Urish.

Surviving are one brother, Daniel W. (Elizabeth) Urish of North Kingstown, Rhode Island and three nieces, Roxanne (Frank) Curatella of Birmingham, Alabama, Deanna (Michael) Dougherty of Taylors, South Carolina and Heidi (Robert) Pavia of Kingston, Rhode Island.

Ruth was a strong person with great faith, an inspiration to all with whom she met. She was afflicted with polio at the age of 18 months and was handicapped with difficulty walking the rest of her life, becoming more of a challenge, as she got older. In her later years, she survived multiple heart attacks and cancer. Ruth never let that stop her in her endeavors and goals.

She had worked as an operator for Middle States Telephone Company for nine years. Ruth then worked at Pekin Insurance for 31 years as an Assistant Auto Underwriter, retiring in 1988.

Ruth was a generous loving person, who enjoyed entertaining others, individually as well as large groups. She planned and organized parties for many events for her biological family and her church family, especially for Christmas, with special music, gifts for all with an arrival of Santa Claus. She was a devoted member of the Second Reformed Church of Pekin all her life. She was involved in many of the service activities of the church and was a living example of the love of Christ for all who came in contact with her. She taught Junior High Sunday School classes for 47 years and was loved and praised by the many youngsters in her classes. Typical is the statement by one of her former students: “She was my teacher for many years and was one of the kindest and most knowledgeable teachers I knew” and “Ruth is truly one of the best teachers because she is believing and teaches by example. She always made learning fun and interesting.” She was a member of Seekers Sunday School Class, a member of both Mary-Martha and Friendship Circles, and for many years hosted a Bible study in her home.

In addition to these group activities, she was a major caller for the Prayer Chain. She was in charge of the funeral lunches, prepared the schedules for Care and Share and was the publicity chairperson for all church major fundraising and fellowship events. Ruth also arranged weekly scripture readings for church services and was co-chair for sending special cards to church members for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days of individuals. When asked for a quote regarding her faith she expressed the following:

“God is so good to me in giving me a wonderful church, great friends, a great family, and most of all – salvation and the knowledge that someday I will be at home with Him. The Lord has watched over me all these years. Whatever I’ve needed He has provided.”

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday, February 19, 2021 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Pastor Chuck Grogan and Rev. Judy Steger Kennedy will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Lakeside Cemetery in Pekin.

Memorial contributions may be given to a charity of the donor’s choice.

To express condolences online, visit


  • Visitation

    Friday, February 19, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, February 19, 2021


Ruth Arlene DeSutter

have a memory or condolence to add?

Thomas Eertmoed

February 21, 2021

So sorry to hear of Ruth's passing. Like many others I remember her as Sunday school teacher at Second Reformed Church. Always a smile on her face. She was a great part of that church and will be greatly missed.

Linda Thompon

February 20, 2021

Dear Dan and family:. I want to offer my deepest sympathy to all of you. A unt Ruthie was the best woman I have ever seen. She had such kindness in everything she did or said. I loved to go over to see her, Augie and Nettie and Henry. I always had to stay for a meal. That was in my high school days and after. Then I got hired at Pekin Insurance and I worked in Underwriting and sat 1 desk from Ruthie. I remember the days at church also. When our house burned she and Aunt Nettie and some other lady had a shower for us to help us get back on our feet. She made the best cookies especially sugar cookies. Even thou I moved to Missouri 21. Years ago we kept contact. She will be dearly missed. It makes me sad to know I can't visit her when I come home. I would have been there if the weather was not so bad. This lady will be missed by so many. Love in Christ. Linda Thompson


Martha Dunnam

February 20, 2021

My sister gave me the Pekin Times so I could read Ruth's obituary. She had lived a long and wonderful life. As a soloist, I was called to visit Second Reformed every Summer where I gave a testimony and sang a Gospel song during the worship service. Ruth was part of the congregation every time I sang. She would always greet me with a smile and comment on how glad she was that I was there to join their service. She was always glowing with the love of Jesus and when she spoke to me, it was as if Jesus had greeted me Himself--His love just poured out of her being. When I read the obituary, I smiled because it was SO APPROPRIATE for her personality. There is no doubt that she is now enjoying the Savior who gave her such a long life and faithful witness. When God calls me home to Heaven, I will be with Ruth again and we will both be singing praises to our Heavenly Father. I want to extend my sympathy to her family and friends who will miss her greatly on this earth. I will keep you all in my prayers as you grieve the loss of this beautiful soul. May God give you His Peace and Comfort! With love, Martha Dunnam -Green Valley, IL

Susan Kyle

February 19, 2021

Dear Family and Friends,
We are so sorry for your loss. Ruth was a special woman and it was our honor to have served her all these years.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
Take Care and Be Well
Sue Kyle and Team
Kyle's Care at Home

Melanie Hocker (Juchems)

February 18, 2021

Ruth was my junior high Sunday school teacher and she had a way of making us feel special. She would do special projects with us and always went above and beyond for her classes. Every time I saw her after I got older she always welcomed Me and asked about my family. She was a very special person and I will miss her smile.

Shirley Runyon

February 17, 2021

Ruth was a very close friend and was the most loving Lady I have ever known. I was involved in most of the church activities with her and found her Christian faith followed her in all she did. Always a happy person and never complained about her disability. God is taking care of my Ruthie now. Love you forever. Shirley

Carole Starrett

February 17, 2021

I wish I had known your sister Ruth. In reading her obituary, she was truly a “good and faithful” servant that God would like us all to be.
My sympathy to you and your family.
Carole Starrett

Kathie Borgmann Tarlton

February 16, 2021

Ruth was the nicest neighbor I ever had who grew to be like part of our family. Her Mother was such fun as well and was like Grandma to my kids. Putting up with their antics. Spent a lot of time over there and learned many great recipes but most of all the sugar cookies. Angel on Earth and now in Heaven

Nikki Borgmann

February 16, 2021

I was her neighbor from a baby to age 20, she will be missed. My favorite thing to do is come over and grab a sugar cookie...

Bonnie Pollock

February 16, 2021

Ruth taught me in Sunday school many many years ago We worshipped together at Second Reformed for many years she loved the Lord and spread that love to so many. She was a kind and caring lady. Ruth will be missed