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RUTH NAOMI OOMMEN (published on January 28, 2009)

RUTH NAOMI OOMMEN 1949 - 2009 Ruth Oommen passed away suddenly on January 9, 2009 as a result of a traffic accident. She leaves to mourn and cherish her memory her loving husband, Thamby; son Matthew, his wife Karen and daughter Asha; son Mark; daughter Rachel; and son James along with many friends and relatives. Ruth was born in Altona, MB on May 31, 1949 the first of four children to John and Susan Reimer. Aside from a brief time in Indiana as a youth, Ruth spent most of her life in and around Steinbach where she completed her high school education before continuing her studies at MBBC in Winnipeg and Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She met Thamby while at MBBC and they were married on August 15, 1972. In addition to her tireless efforts as a homemaker raising four children, Ruth committed herself to her love of music and singing both as a professional singer and passing along her craft as a voice instructor. Ruth's powerful soprano voice was often heard in public performances throughout the area. As a youth and young mother she performed not only as a singer but an actress performing the female lead in many musicals. More recently, she sang with the Winnipeg Singers, the Mennonite Oratorio Choir, in her church choirs and choirs organized by the Eastman Choral Association. She had only recently retired from teaching voice at Providence College after many years there as well as Steinbach Bible College. She will be remembered for her industrious enthusiasm in organizing musical opportunities for students and other members of the community. Unable to completely leave her voice instructing days behind, she continued to provide occasional private lessons at home. Her former students will remember her not only as a teacher but a friend. Also known for her culinary abilities, Ruth loved parties and was exceptional at bringing people together for good food and fellowship in the spirit of her Mennonite heritage as well as the East Indian culture she married into. Many will remember meals at her home where she skillfully prepared delicacies and traditional dishes from both cultures as well as many of her own creations. Ruth's passion for making pastries and other desserts recently led her and Thamby to start a small business catering and supplying a local restaurant with desserts, appetizers and soups. Ruth had an infectious smile, a wonderful hearty laugh, and a great way of warmly relating to others. She was an inspiration to everyone who's life she touched, working hard to make her world a better place and everyone who knew her feel special. She loved her family, following the lives of her sons and daughter actively and with great pleasure. Her first grandchild, born last year, was an incredible source of joy for her. A memorial service will be held at the Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church, 360 McKenzie Ave. in Steinbach at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, 2009. In lieu of flowers friends may contribute to a Memorial Scholarship Fund being set up in Ruth's name, which will be awarded annually to a member of Eastman Youth Choir. Contributions will be accepted at the memorial service, or cheques may be sent to the Ruth Oommen Memorial Scholarship Fund , 390 Walnut Street, Steinbach, Manitoba, R5G 0H7. Arrangements by Birchwood Funeral Chapel 1-204-346-1030 or 1-888-454-1030

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