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Ruth Jane Barrow Blunt

Nurse, devoted minister’s wife, quilter, active Pilgrim, volunteer

Ruth Jane Barrow Blunt died peacefully of natural causes at Claremont’s Pilgrim Place Health Care Center. She was 94 years old.

She was born in Boone, Iowa on October 27, 1924 to Rev. Oscar E. Barrow and Ruby G. Barrow. In 1946, Ruth completed three years of nursing school during which time she met her future husband, Gordon Keith Blunt.

At the time, nursing students were required to be single, so the young couple waited over a year to exchange vows. They were married on March 15, 1946, with her father performing the ceremony.

The couple soon moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where Gordon attended seminary. He earned his ordination as a minister in the Congregational Church, which later became the United Church of Christ. While in Oberlin, they were blessed with their first daughter, Jane Louise, who was born in April, 1947.

Over the next four decades, the Blunts served five churches throughout the Midwest and western United States. During the 1940s and ‘50s, three more children, Bradford Keith, Christopher John, and Mary Helen, were born.

In 1966, the family moved to the West Coast for the first time. The couple served for eight years at Bethel Congregational Church in Ontario, then for three additional parishes before retiring to Pilgrim Place in 1988.

At Pilgrim Place, Ms. Blunt participated on several committees, and she mastered the art of quilt making, enjoying sharing her craft with family and friends for years to come. She also chaired Miscellaneous, an on-campus shop offering donated and various items, with the proceeds going toward Pilgrim Place and the annual Pilgrim Place Festival. 

She was predeceased by her husband Gordon in 1995; daughter Jane in 2011; son Bradford in 1993; brothers Eugene and William; and sister, Helen.

On Sunday, April 7, a small family memorial will take place to celebrate and honor her long, colorful life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Pilgrim Place at pilgrimplace.org, or by check to Pilgrim Place, Administration, 625 Mayflower Rd., Claremont, CA 91711.