Cover photo for Ruth Cotner's Obituary
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1925 Ruth 2022

Ruth Cotner

September 14, 1925 — September 23, 2022

Weatherford (formerly of Grove)

Ruth Anna Cotner, age 97, of Weatherford, OK, died peacefully, surrounded by family on September 23, 2022. She was the third daughter of Walter August and Lola Anna Giem.  Ruth was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma and lived there throughout her youth. Her family owned a chicken hatchery, and from an early age, she was surrounded by animals. Ruth always spoke fondly of her mother’s “down-home” cooking, especially her macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and “church” cinnamon rolls. Music was a significant part of her upbringing, and she recalls an ever-present piano in their home and learning to play the accordion.

She graduated from Guthrie High School in 1943, in the midst of World War Two. Ruth remarked that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was the event that most shaped her lifetime. In 1947, to pay for courses at Hills Business University, she sold her accordion and moved to Oklahoma City. There she completed a Secretarial Course of Study and a Stenographers Course of Study.

In 1949, Ruth married Norman A. Cotner after meeting him through a common friend at a football game in Stillwater. While N.A. completed medical school, Ruth worked in a variety of secretarial roles to support their young family. She spent most of her life in Grove, Oklahoma where she and N.A moved in 1959. There she raised five children.

Ruth was instrumental in the founding of Grove General Hospital, now Grove Integris Hospital. After community fundraising fell short, Ruth and Norman took on substantial personal debt to construct a twenty-five-bed hospital to serve the community of Grove starting in 1963. They held the hospital debt until 1978 when the Baptist General Convention refinanced the hospital. Throughout her life, Ruth was a generous supporter of local charities and volunteered her time as an adult literacy tutor.

Above all, Ruth was a devoted wife and mother. She pursued her personal interests as well. Often, she had a book in her hands, regularly reading historical fiction. Rosamunde Pilcher’s books were personal favorites. She completed her daily crosswords with finesse, often while watching the birds outside her kitchen window. Ruth adored pets, all her life. As a girl, she dressed the family terrier in doll clothes; and as an adult, she doted on many dachshunds, several named Fritz.

With her intrepid husband, Ruth traveled many places, noting that Australia and New Zealand were her favorite locations because she enjoyed the ranches. Her eye for design was reflected in her love for floral prints, as well as their mid-century Grove homes. Not many knew that Ruth was a talented painter of landscapes and still lifes. She expressed creativity with her seamstress projects and through her art.

In her ninety-seven years of life, Ruth witnessed remarkable world events and great personal ones as well. She was a quiet woman, but when she spoke her words carried weight or wit. Her family will miss her gentle demeanor and her steadfast support.

Ruth is survived by four children: Mark and wife, Patricia; Jeff and wife, Nancy; Sarah Ramsey and husband, Hank; and Abby Anderson and husband, John Paul; four grandchildren: Lauren Francis and husband, Scott; Zachary Cotner; Ben Anderson; Kathryn Anderson; and one great grandchild, Genevieve Francis.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Norman A. Cotner, MD, and her son, Paul E. Cotner as well as her parents, her sisters, Mary Giem and Lily Bradley and brother, Lloyd Giem.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests Ruth be honored through donations to: Integris Foundation, designated to Integris Grove Hospital (Grove, OK) – PO Box 57380, Oklahoma City, OK. 73157 or the Second Chance Pet Rescue/Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake 918.786.7630.

The family is grateful for the superior care Ruth received at Brookdale Assisted Living and from Shepherd Home Health and Hospice in Weatherford, OK.

Visitation will be 5:00PM - 6:30PM Friday, September 30, 2022, at Worley-Luginbuel Grove, OK; a private family interment will take place at a later date.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 30, 2022

5:00 - 6:30 pm (Eastern time)

Worley-Luginbuel Grove Funeral Home

711 S Main St, Grove, OK 74344

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