R is for Ruth McGhee – In Sympathy

Gail Martin’s mother, Ruth McGhee died on the 25th of July in 1960 in Emporia, Kansas. It was a shock to everyone. Cards poured in to let the family know that she would be missed by everyone who knew her.

She’d had a heart attack and was in the hospital. The next month, she would have been 63 years old. Gone too soon.


Ruth McGhee sympathy cards

Some observations on the cards. Greeting card styles have changed since 1960. The cards were smaller and of lightweight paper. Some embellishment like glitter, a ribbon or flocking made a few cards stand out.

For the most part, the custom was to put just a signature, often the formal “Mr. & Mrs.” which we don’t use much now in signing a card. Usually, there was no additional note, and when there was, the expressions of sympathy sounded more formal then.

Here are the signatures on the cards. If you are from Madison, Kansas, many of these names will be familiar. Some come from further afield from family and friends in Oklahoma, Oregon, and California.

  • Russell, Dorothy & Don Andrew
  • Virgil & Bernice Armstrong – “with the deepest of sympathy for you & your family. May God be with you & comfort you at this time of great sorrow.
  • Frank J. Barker & Family
  • Mr. & Mrs. Otey Bill
  • Otho & Freida Buster
  • Frank & Inis Castoe
  • Cheerful Worker’s Class, Madison Christian Church
  • The George Cloptons
  • The Crawfords – “You have had a great loss and we have lost a dear friend.
  • Floyd & Millie Culver
  • Ralph Dobson
  • Essie Dunham
  • Mr. & Mrs. Earl Dyer
  • Tom & Ruth Edwards
  • The Engles
  • The Flemings – “Rich & I both want you to know that we are thinking of you & your family & extend our very deepest sympathy.
  • Mr. & Mrs. T.G. French
  • B.H. & Doris Gaines & family – “Our deepest sympathy to you, Clarence, in your great loss.
  • Mr. & Mrs. C.W. Galbraith
  • Mrs. Pearl Garvin
  • Anna Haas (Lamont, KS) – “with deepest understanding sympathy”
  • Lloyd & Betty Haas – “Have thought of you often in the past weeks.
  • Edna Mae & Austin Hailey (Barker)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Roy Harlan
  • Harold, Melba Lu & Janice Hauser – “God Bless you & keep you as you go on – the way Aunt Ruth would want it. With all our love.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Ray Hess
  • The James-Sill-Brown Post, No. 124, Madison, Kansas (American Legion)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Geo Jester
  • Roy & Blanche Kennedy of Wichita – “So little I can say at a time like this, so nice of you to call me. I would of come if possible. I’m thankful that Ruth and I had such a nice visit last fall at her sister’s & Ruth gave me a crocheted apron she just made. I appreciate it even more now. If you are in Wichita, come see us & if there is ever anything I can do, rest assured, I would. It’s nice you have the girls and grandchildren to help ease your burden.  Write when convenient.
  • Conley & Mrs. Kindley – “God Bless and Comfort You
  • James King & Family
  • Seth & Mildred Lindberg
  • Coy & Lois Lindsey, Paula & Brenda
  • Harley & Carmon McClure (Heston, Kansas)
  • The C.C. McCollum family
  • W.E. McGiluray
  • Bud, Rosa & Arminta McGoyne
  • Mr. & Mrs Arthur Moore
  • Norman & Bonnie Morray & Family
  • Mrs. Earl Mullen
  • Mr. & Mrs. John Ogilvie
  • Treva, Dee-Wayne, Leslie, Lynn, Louis, & Lyle Paugh
  • Irene & Hugh Palmer – “our sincere sympathy
  • Kermit & Velva Pope
  • The Fletcher Powells (more names below the photo)ruth-mcghee-card-2
  • Ernest & Lois Reynolds – “Dear Clarence, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our sincere sympathy.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Ray Richards, Ken & Myrna
  • Charles & Milla Ritchey
  • Mr. & Mrs. Theo Richter
  • The Robert E. Sanders
  • Mr. & Mrs. L Sauder (Beulah & Doc) – “Dear Friend, You know you have our deepest sympathy but wanted to send you a card. We appreciated cards sent us when mother passed away and liked to take them out and look at them at times.
  • Janice Schmidt
  • Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Schwab
  • Oscar & Hazel Skaggs – “Mrs. Lour just called & told us of the sad news of the death of your wife. We are happy we got to know her at Trenton last year. We are surely praying that you and your family will gain much comfort from God at this time.
  • Opal Smith of Woodward OK
  • The Snyders
  • Herb & Mabel Staten
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fred Storrer
  • Mr. & Mrs. G.O. Towns
  • Hallie Umbarger
  • The Williamsons – “We are sorry not to be able to attend the services, but Roy is still not feeling well. Our sincere sympathy to all of you.
  • Frances Yawn of Orlando FL
  • Ardale, Earleen & Girls
  • Erma & Hubert
  • Irene & Shy
  • Leslie & Lula
  • Lafe & Verna
  • Hiram & Elizabeth – “Dear Clarence, Dewey told me about your great loss. We are truly sorry to hear it. Know it must be hard to bear, but it is one thing we all have to face sooner or later. Would like to see you, but we do not get out much these hot days. May God bless you in your sorrow.
  • Leonard, Violet & family

I apologize for any misspelled names. For the most part, the handwriting was very clear and readable but I struggled with a few of them.

4 thoughts on “R is for Ruth McGhee – In Sympathy

  1. My father died in 1962 and I remember my mother looking over the sympathy cards many times. She liked the all white ones the best. I think people now are still just as formal when they send a sympathy card. They want to say something to help but are afraid if they say too much they will offend or upset the recipient.


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