Ruth Graham, the wife of well-known evangelist Billy Graham, passed away today at 5:05 pm at her home at Little Piney Cove, surrounded by her husband and all five of their children. Ruth had been bedridden for a number of months with degenerative osteoarthritis of the back and neck and underwent treatment for pneumonia two weeks ago. She was 87 years old.
Billy Graham made the following statement about his wife:
Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team. No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.
I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together. We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day. I will miss her terribly, and look forward even more to the day I can join her in Heaven.
The family plans to hold a private interment ceremony and a public memorial service. Service arrangements have not yet been announced.
UPDATE: Related articles from around the web:
- Official Press Release: Description of the Funeral
- Official Press Release: Ruth Bell Graham, 1920-2007
- The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association memorial site for Ruth
- Anne Graham Lotz on her mother’s death
- Statements from the children of Ruth Bell Graham
- Statement by President George Bush:
Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Ruth Bell Graham, a remarkable woman of faith whose life was defined by her belief in a personal, loving, and gracious God. She was an encouraging friend, accomplished poet, and devoted mother of five and grandmother of 19.
Ruth’s marriage to her husband Billy was a true and loving partnership. As the wife of the world’s most beloved evangelist, she inspired people around the world with her humor, intelligence, elegance, and kindness. Laura and I offer our prayers and condolences to Billy and the Graham family.
- PUBLIC INVITED TO ATTEND FUNERAL SERVICE FOR RUTH BELL GRAHAM, LATE WIFE OF BILLY GRAHAM: Mrs. Graham to be Honored by Friends and Family in Montreat, N.C., Followed by a Private Family-Only Interment in Charlotte:
A public funeral service to honor Mrs. Graham, has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 in Anderson Auditorium at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, N.C. Mr. Graham and his family have extended an invitation for the public to join them in honoring the life and memory of their wife and mother at this event. Anderson Auditorium’s seating capacity is limited to 2,000, on a first come basis, after which guests will be directed to additional overflow seating.
Related articles on this blog:
- A Quote from Billy and a Quote from Ruth
- Ruth Bell Graham – Poems
- Ruth Graham Near Death
- Billy Graham Museum Opens in Charlotte, NC
- The Day I Met Billy Graham