Mary Ruth was born on New Years Day, January 1, 1931 in Wheaton, Kansas the daughter of Bernard and Nora Keating Cunningham and she died on Christmas Day. She attended local schools and graduated from Wheaton Rural High School. Mary then received her certificate as a Registered Nurse from St. Mary’s College. She worked as a labor and delivery nurse in Kansas City at Providence Medical Center. She then left her profession to raise her four children and follow her husband with his work for TWA Airlines.
Mary Ruth married Timothy Eugene Finan on January 12, 1952, in Wheaton. She and Gene called Kansas City their home base as they were moved by the airlines for over thirty years. During that time, they lived for many years overseas in the Middle East and Ethiopia. They returned to Blaine in 1987 when he retired from Saudi Arabian Airlines. Nearly a year ago, the couple celebrated 60 years of marriage at their home in Blaine.
A quiet, religious, and devoted wife, Mary Ruth loved crossword puzzles, gardening, cooking and baking. She hosted many dinners at their Blaine farmhouse and previously in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Texas where she had lived with her family. She is well known for her cinnamon rolls and home-baked pies which she always sent home with her children following holiday celebrations. She was an avid weather watcher and she predicted seasonal changes by the color of the birds feeding outside her kitchen window. She insisted bird behavior was a better weather predictor than those of Topeka’s TV weathercasters.
Mary Ruth had been active in St Michael’s Catholic Church in Wheaton as a youngster, and later at St. Columbkille’s Church in Blaine, where she was often seen as a parish volunteer cooking for celebrations, helping with bazaars, and maintaining the church.
She is survived by her high school sweetheart husband , Gene, of their home; Her children, Marilyn Maddox and her husband, Byron, of Kansas City, Missouri, Laura Finan of Lawrence, Jerry Finan and his wife, Kristine, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Amy Gallagher and her husband, Eddie, of Manhattan. Mary Ruth also leaves her sister Dorothy Cunningham Haskin of Onaga; eight grandchildren, Jeremy and his wife, Joda, Julie, Eric and his wife, Wendy, Erin and her husband, Marc, Jacob, Abigail, Shiana & Samuel; and four great-grandchildren, Lexus, Austin, Landon and Marlow. She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Jimmy and Jerry.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, December 29, 2012, at St. Columbkille’s Catholic Church in Blaine, Kansas. Father Pat Sullivan will be the Celebrant. Burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. The family will greet friends on Friday, at the Church, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and a rosary prayer service will be held at 7:00 p.m. They suggest memorial contributions to St. Michaels Catholic Cemetery or Mt. Calvary Cemetery and those may be sent in care of Kufahl Funeral home in Wheaton. Online condolences may be made at www.campanellafuneral.com.