Cover photo for Ruthe Dawson Rodebeck's Obituary
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Ruthe Dawson Rodebeck

April 25, 1925 — December 10, 2023

Ruthe Dawson Rodebeck



Ruthe Dawson Rodebeck, age 98, passed away peacefully on December 10th at her home in Baxley, surrounded by her three children, Keith, Gretchen, and Carol. Ruthe was born on April 25, 1925, to Frank and Mary Dawson in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was the youngest of three daughters. Ruthe excelled at playing the cello through High School. She joined Landers String Quartet Jr Symphony of Indianapolis, ushered at Symphony Concerts, and was chosen to play with the Indianapolis Symphony at President Delano Roosevelt’s Birthday Ball which was held at Cadle Tabernacle. It was such an honor to be chosen to play.

While attending high school, Ruthe started dating her future husband, Richard.  During the summer, they secretly met downtown Indianapolis under the famous L S Ayres clock. They attended movies, ate lunch together, and went to record shops to listen to music. Ruthe married her high school sweetheart, Richard Rodebeck, two months after his discharge from the Army in WWII at St. Johns German Evangelical and Reformed Church in Cumberland, Indiana in 1946.  After graduating from Purdue University, Ruthe taught Home Economics, created style shows, then taught elementary education for the rest of her teaching career. Ruthe was an active member of Baxley First United Methodist Church, where she diligently served where needed in the UMW, Wesley Sunday School Class, Kids For Christ, handbells, bulletin boards, folding bulletins, Bible studies, and attended Epworth By the Sea. For many years she served as a Food Bank volunteer. She was an active member of the Retired Educators receiving the Retired Teacher of the Year award in 2012.

Ruthe influenced many students and everyone she encountered with her positive, graciousness and loving demeanor making everyone feel loved and accepted. She was an avid game and card player especially loving Rummy and Canasta.

Ruthe was preceded in death by her husband, Richard of 56 years; her parents, Frank V. and Mary Perlee Dawson; two siblings, Barbara Dawson Trees and Betty Jane Dawson; and nephew, Larry Robinson and wife, Shari.

Surviving are her three children, Keith Rodebeck (Donna) of Belvidere, Illinois, Gretchen Miles and Carol Torres (Joe) of Baxley, Georgia; eight grandchildren, Mike Rodebeck (Carrie) of Huntley, Illinois, Amanda Montressor (Pat) of Marengo, Illinois, Anthony Miles (Laura) of Brunswick, Georgia, Jennifer Eldridge (Reuben) of Baxley, Georgia, Matthew Bristow (Larrissa) of Columbus, Indiana, Samantha Zappitella (Nick) of Baxley, Georgia, Abbey Christy of Ashburn, Virginia, and Ingrid McCullough(Dan) of  Springfield, Virginia; twenty two great grandchildren, Jocelyn and James Rodebeck, Eli, Maelee, and Elena Miles, Reagan and Brayden Miles, Maddox Lightsey, Carter, Harley, and Ivy Eldridge, Paisley Bristow, Sam, Izzy, Nova, and Gabe Zappitella,  Liam, Maddie, and Ethan McCullough, McKenna, Charlotte, and Luke Christy also survive. One nephew also surviving is Jerry Robinson (Jane) of Denver, Colorado.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at the First United Methodist Church in Baxley, Georgia, with Dr.  Nita Crump and Pastor Steve Meguiar officiating.

Visitation will be held on Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church.

The graveside service will be held at New Palestine Cemetery in New Palestine, Indiana, at a later date.

Honorary Pallbearers are Appling County Retired Educators, UMW and Wesley Sunday School Class.  

In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made to the Appling County Food Bank, 57 Harvey St. Baxley, GA 31513, Baxley First United Methodist Church, 217 South Main St. Baxley, GA 31513, or the 24/7 House at

Nobles Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Ruthe Dawson Rodebeck.

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


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