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Ruth Z. Cronin, 93, died at Jewish Hospital on Sunday, September 15, 2013.

She was born July 15, 1920, beloved daughter of the late Alphonse and Amelia (Sohm) Zumwalde. Ruth had 6 children, 18 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. She was a member of St. Clare Chapel and a volunteer for 20 years at Mercy Franciscan Terrace. As a volunteer, she was active and in later years volunteered as a ‘blue angel.’They are called 'Blue' because blue is associated with Mary, the Mother of God.” Ruth said, “And they are called 'Angels' because their ministry is to bring a peaceful, prayerful presence to the bedside of those who are actively dying. The Blue Angels do not give physical care, nor do they talk about theology or religion: their purpose is to bring comfort to and accompany them dying during the lonely times."

She became an Associate of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 2000. In 2005, she renewed her covenant for another five years because “I think that will be my lifetime!” When she found herself still alive in 2011, she made her permanent covenant.  She often said, “I spend as much time as possible with many of the Sisters, going to Mass and visiting. I always have a great sense of peace at those times.”

Owing to her advanced years, Ruth could not be as physically active as she had been in the past, but she continued to care for the lonely and dying through her covenant -- praying for all family members and friends, and those who have no one to pray for them. She took this very seriously. It was her ‘ministry’ now that physically she could no longer offer her services as a volunteer. “Prayer takes hard work, and it takes time. It truly is a ministry in and of itself!”

Published: September 26, 2013