In Memory Of

Cole, Ruth E. who passed away on 11/6/2014 at the age of 94

Dr. Ruth Elizabeth Cole age 94, of Murray, Kentucky, died Thursday, November 6, 2014 at her home. Dr. Cole was born on October 15, 1920 in Calloway County, Kentucky, the daughter of Ory Leander Cole and Rema Boyd Cole. She was a member of Glendale Road Church of Christ.

She graduated from Lynn Grove High School, attended Murray State University and graduated from Nazareth School of Nursing, St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky a Registered Nurse. She received a B.S. in Nursing Education, University of Texas, Austin; Master of Arts, Columbia University, N.Y.; and a Doctor of Education, Indiana University.

She worked as a staff nurse at the Houston-McDevitt Clinic Hospital before reporting for active duty in the US Navy Nurse Corps in World War II. She remained in active ready Navy Reserves and was recalled for duty during the Korean Conflict. She continued in reserve until her retirement in 1980 after 35 years of service. She retired with the rank of Navy Captain.

In the fall semester of 1948-49 she returned to Murray State College to become the first Director of Nursing Education to implement the three year diploma program in nursing. She directed the development of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program in 1964 and wrote the grant to secure funds to construct the nursing building. She retired as a Chairman and Professor of Nursing in 1977. Dr. Cole assisted in the development of the school of Nursing at Harding University and directed the preparation for accreditation at Searcy, Arkansas in 1979-80.

Murray Calloway County Hospital employed Ms. Cole to organize and establish a Hospice Program. The first patients were admitted in 1980.

She was active in many civic organizations. She served in many positions for the Red Cross over a fifty year period. She was the first President of Murray Friends of the Library. She held membership in AAUW, Delta Kappa Gamma, Honorary Teachers' Society, Pi Lambda Theta, and the Murray Woman's Club.

Dr. Cole was an active member in the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, and the honor society for nursing, Sigma Theta Tau.

Governors of Kentucky nominated her to serve on the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the State Comprehensive Health Planning Council. In 1977 she was recognized by the Kentucky League of Nursing as Nurse Educator of the Year. Governor Brown commissioned her to a Kentucky Colonel in 1982. Harding University School of Nursing honored her in 1993 as an honorary graduate. In 1994 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Alumni of the School of Nursing in Galveston, Texas. In October 2004 she received the Pioneer Award from the College of Nursing at Harding University.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home, John Dale will officiate, and burial with Military honors will follow in the Murray City Cemetery. Visitation will be held Monday, November 10, 2014 from 5-8 p.m., at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home.

Expressions of sympathy may go to, Dr. Ruth E. Cole Endowed Nursing Scholarship, Murray State University, 106 Development and Alumni Affairs, Murray, Kentucky 42071 - 3313 or to the Ruth E. Cole Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund, Advancement Office, 900 E. Center Avenue, Searcy Arkansas 72143-9987