Ruth McCombie

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Ruth Iona was born in Miango, Nigeria to parents William and Iona (Hall) Collins. Her parents were missionaries, as part of the Sudan Interior Mission, but Ruth soon joined her older sister Betty back in Ontario at the Gowan's Home in Collingwood. It is interesting to note that missionaries could not keep their children with them in this time period and thus the Collins girls returned to Ontario to be raised. The Gowan's Home acted as a residence for the children of missionaries and it wasn't long before Betty and Ruth were joined in Collingwood by their younger sister Esther. Ruth attended both public and high school in Collingwood. Throughout this time there were weekly letters sent back and forth between the girls and their parents; however, sadly, Ruth's mom died in 1936 in Africa.

It was in high school that Ruth met a young man by the name of Alexander McDonald McCombie. The couple were high school sweethearts, however Ruth was one year older and soon headed off to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Once complete, she began her RN training at Wellesley Hospital in Toronto before getting her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Toronto, where she specialized in premature infant nursing. 

Ruth and Alex were married on October 31, 1953 at Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto. Why Halloween you ask? Well Alex’s response was that the church and reception facility were available, so Halloween it was. The young couple soon took up residence in Waterloo, as Alex was schooling there. Ruth worked to help put Alex through his schooling and Alex repaid the favour later in life when Ruth furthered her education. The couple soon moved back to Toronto where they became more involved in their community. Here, with others, their faith and beliefs took the form of a new movement and they helped form Right to Life Toronto. They soon adopted Roger and Stephen before heading off to Baddeck, Nova Scotia with Alex's ministry. The couple soon welcomed Ian and Aird.

Ruth had a passion for music from a young age. Her high school music teacher helped reinforce her talents and encouraged her to pursue it as a career in life. Although it never became a full time job, it did allow Ruth to explore many opportunities. She became a trained musician after becoming a graduate of the Teacher and Performers programs at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. When Alex became involved in ministry she joined him, and the two formed a great team, speaking and singing the words of the Lord. Ruth had recognized her strong faith from a young age, and if you ever talked to Ruth you knew her faith showed through. The kids often remembered her words as they exited the house off to school, "Remember to stand up for Jesus" and that was exactly how she lived her life.

The couple moved on to Sherbrook, Quebec where Trevor, Gavin, Jane and Jillian all joined their family. Now as a family of ten, Ruth was a very busy woman caring for her children and husband's needs. When she afforded herself some spare time, Ruth became involved in the Women's Missionary Society, Women's Institute and headed back to school. Over the years she obtained her BA and MA in classics (Latin and Greek) from the University of Toronto.

Over the years, Alex's ministry took the couple to further stops in Islington and New Westminister, B.C., before returning to Toronto where Ruth and Alex completed their ministry at the church where it all began, Knox Presbyterian Church on Spadina Ave. At Knox Church, Ruth served capably as organist, whenever the need arose. She absolutely loved to play the organ and especially appreciated the traditional music produced by William Doane and Fanny Crosby. Ruth was a social Conservative and voracious reader. She loved murder mysteries. Her family joked that it was Ruth’s goal in life to solve all criminal mysteries. It didn't matter if it was Murder She Wrote, America’s Most Wanted or The Hunt, Ruth was trying to solve these mysteries. Her competitiveness did not end there; ask the family about the classic Scrabble games between Ruth and her sister Esther. 

It could be said that Ruth was a country girl at heart, and therefore it was no surprise that the McCombie's retired to their summer property outside of Chesley. Here, they remained active and involved in their community as they progressed into their retirement. Ruth used this time to further her reach in helping others and supported a variety of groups and organizations that aligned with her beliefs. Her resilient, independent personality will live on in her children and grandchildren for years to come.

Ruth was called home to be with her Lord on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in her 89th year.

Beloved wife and best friend of Alex. Loving mother of Ian (Ruth) of Hanover, Aird of R.R. #4 Chatsworth, Roger of Caledon, Stephen (Mary) of Cambridge, Trevor of Toronto, Gavin (Ferne) of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Jane McCombie of Caledon and Jillian (Paul) Hodgson of Cambridge. Ruth will be lovingly remembered by her fifteen grandchildren, four great grandchildren and sister Esther McGibbon of Chesley. She was predeceased by her sister Betty, brother Paul and parents William and Iona (Hall) Collins.

A memorial service honouring Ruth’s life and her Lord will be held at Cooke’s Presbyterian Church, Markdale (14 George St, Markdale.) on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 11 a.m. Inurnment in Chesley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Cooke’s Presbyterian Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

The family would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Thompson, Dr. Van Sligtenhorst as well as the staff at both Unit 6 – 2 in Owen Sound Hospital and Chesley Hospital for their love and support.

Send to friend
Pat Carpenter
September 10, 2017
Dear Alex and family: My sincerest condolences at this difficult time. I have very fond memories of Ruth at W.M.S. Presbyterial and Synodical. Know that you are in my prayers. God Bless, Pat
Merry Maids
September 8, 2017
On behalf of the staff at Merry Maids Grey Bruce, I am sending condolences and prayers to Alex, Aird and the entire family.
Sheila Busch
September 8, 2017
I wish to send prayers and condolences to the family of Ruth McCombie.
Alan and Carol Barr
September 8, 2017
Carol and I send our condolences, to Dr. McCombie and family. We will always remember Ruth and her vibrant faith, and give thanks to God for Ruth's life . Know that you are all in our prayers at this time.
Wayne and Cathy Baswick
September 8, 2017
Alex and Family

We have fond memories of time spent together with you after summer services at Cheyne Church.

you, Ruth, Ed and Flora McKinlay were a great source of encouragement to us .

Wayne and Cathy
Eleanor Petrie
September 7, 2017
Dear Alex and family, my sincere sympathy in the loss of your dear Ruth!
She was so dedicated to her family and her faith, her talents to pitch in when needed was so appreciated.
Paul and I had many great visits after service with you and Ruth.
May your many wonderful memories bring you comfort. I'm in PEI so won't be able to attend her service, but I'll sure be thinking of all of you. Eleanor
Andrew Cornell
September 7, 2017
The Board and Members of the Renewal Fellowship within The Presbyterian Church in Canada send their prayers and condolences to Alex and family. From the inception of The Renewal Fellowship, Alex and Ruth have been faithful leaders, gracious hosts, loyal prayer partners and friends. We know that Ruth loved her Lord and is now with Him forever. “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will take you back to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)
Bernice Gowan
September 6, 2017
Hello Alex ... have wonderful memories of Ruth, her happy friendly countenance and her music abilities. Together you lived the gospel message well.
So glad to have had the privilege of knowing both of you.
Peggy Kipfer
September 6, 2017
Dearest Alex and family,
Know that you are in the prayers of many. May God continue to envelope you with His comfort and fill you with the love, peace and the hope that is ours in Him.
Carol Spitzig
September 6, 2017
Dear Alex and Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time,, as well as David at "Dosman's Garage". Ruth will be forever in your hearts ♥.
Doug and Karen Martyn
September 6, 2017
Dear Alex and Family,
Karen and I would like to extend our sincere sympathy from ourselves as well as the members of Knox Ripley. We always looked forward to your annual thanksgiving service complete with Ruth and your music presentation. Both of you and your warm personalities were appreciated. Sorry we will be unable to attend the service but you will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Doug and Karen.
Angelia Burkinshaw
September 5, 2017
on behalf of the Knox Burgoyne WMS I'm sending condolences and prayers to all the family. Angelia Burkinshaw

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