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Friday, May 6, 2016

Lillian Ruth Mackler McGinnis

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lillian Ruth Mackler McGinnis
Lillian Ruth Mackler McGinnis, 91, previously of Marshall, died in Olympia, Wash., on Aug. 20, 2006, after 33,425 days of enriching peoples' lives with her smile, grace, thoughtfulness, and skill. Born in 1915 to Roy and Lucille Mackler in Shackleford, she and her brother, Ralph, attended school in a one-room school house throughout most of her early years. Red-haired, blue-eyed, and with a sunny disposition, Ruth was a typical farmer's daughter, who grew up tending to the chickens and livestock, helping with the meals and housework, and pitching in with the crops when necessary. All this, along with her studies and the piano lessons from her mother, gave her the resilience and good spirit that carried her throughout her life.

Graduating from Marshall High School in during the Great Depression, she attended Chillicothe Business College and moved at age 18 to Jefferson City to work as a secretary in the U.S. Treasury State Accounts Office. She soon met and married Leland "Lee" McGinnis, an accountant with the Missouri State Teachers Association. Lee and "Rusty", as she came to be called because of her red hair, first settled in Columbia, where they had two children, Mike and Patty. Lee joined the A.B. Chance Company of Centralia, and, in 1949, the McGinnis family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Lee had been transferred to help open the Chance Company's West Coast office. There she raised her two children, was an avid bridge player, a member of the San Mateo Women's Club and Garden Club, and served as a volunteer in various other community and charitable organizations. After her children were grown, she returned to work for several years as the first secretary and office manager for the municipal offices of a newly formed community, Foster City, Calif.

In 1971, when Lee retired from the Chance Company, the couple moved back to Columbia, and Ruth joined the staff of the Columbia Visiting Nurse Association. She worked there both as an employee and as a volunteer before relocating in 1994 to Washington, where her daughter lived. Lee's death preceded Ruth's by 25 years, almost to the day, after 45 years of marriage. She is survived by her older brother, Ralph, of Corpus Christi, Texas; her son, Dr. Michael McGinnis, of Washington D.C.; her daughter, Patricia Wright, of Olympia, Wash.; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Additional information provided per family recompense.