Ruth Valentine Thorniley Hawkins

Ruth Valentine Thorniley Hawkins died Tuesday, November 28th in the care of Hospice at Marietta Memorial Hospital. Ruth was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, February 13th, 1935, to the late David F. Valentine and Helen Tobrocke Valentine. The family took up residence in New Matamoras, Ohio, later moving to Marietta. Ruth attended Sand Hill School in Reno, Ohio and Marietta High School graduating in the Class of 1953. She then attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education 1957. After receiving her degree Ruth taught 6th Grade at Putnam School in Devola, Ohio.

On July 6th 1959 she married Friend Joseph Thorniley in the Valley Baptist Church on Newport Pike. A daughter, Julianna, was born on April 17,1963. The Thorniley Family engaged in dairy farming on the family farm on Newport Pike. Ruth & Joe participated in the the local Farm Bureau & Farmers Club.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Joe, daughter Julie, and her parents David Valentine & Helen Valentine and an infant sister.

Ruth was an avid supporter and volunteer in preserving the history and nature of Washington County. She studied the genealogy of the founding families of Marietta and the surrounding area. She was the vice president of the Washington County Historical Society where she lent her energies and talent to the efforts to preserve the Fearing House and the Anchorage giving countless hours of her time. She was instrumental in organizing the first reunion of the Rufus Putnam Decsendants. Most Saturday mornings you would find her leading tours through forgotten county cemeteries, helping birdwatchers find a rare glimpse of a species they had only seen in pictures or driving the backroads identifying historical homes, farms and properties long forgotten.

The Learning in Retirement program at Marietta College was a passion, from the beginning Ruth was part of the program committee and attended many of the courses offered. She convinced Dave Hawkins, her husband to be the Program Committee Chair and thus drew him into her circle of friends.

Having been forbidden by her mother to elope on her first marriage Ruth and Dave proceeded to Catlettsburg, KY and were married on the first day of Spring in 2004, by the Rev. Dr. David Hankins. The wedding party of two then moved on to a nearby Waffle House which became their favorite dining spot when they traveled.

She is survived by her husband Dave Hawkins, Sister-in-law Eltheda E. Thorniley, nieces Patricia C. Thorniley and Barbara A. Thorniley, and Clifford Taylor, a cIose family friend.

Ruth was a vivacious lady, always of good cheer and encouragement. The nurses who took such loving care of her to the end were enamored with her smile and great patience. She will be missed by a great many people.

Calling hours will be observed Friday, December 8, from 3:00 P. M. onward at Hadley Funeral Home Reno Chapel, 1021 Pike St., Marietta, OH.

A memorial service will be held at Valley View Baptist Church, on Longacre St. in Reno, OH at 10:30, Saturday morning, December 9, 2017, With Pastor Larry Miller officiating.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Memorial Health Foundation 401 Matthew Street, Marietta, OH 45750-9939.

Online condolences may be made at