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Pause Softly Yearning by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Ruth by adding your memories and photos.

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“PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS ”
1 of 7 | Posted by: Valenda Newell - Indianapolis, IN

“Ruth was a truly kind-hearted person who touched the lives of many people, especially children. She will surely be missed. Prayers for her family. ”
2 of 7 | Posted by: Maureen Ringwelski - Macomb, MI

“I was fortunate to be able to work with Ruth at Mohawk's Latchkey for a few years. She was such a nice, warm & loving person who always had a smile...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Mary Gagnier - Clinton Township, MI

“My whole family shared with me a friendship, love and respect for your beautiful mother and grandmother, Ruth. I was blessed to work with Ruth at...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Mary Anne Callaghan - MI

“We all have been blessed to have Aunt Ruth in our family. So wonderful and caring. My deepest condolences to her children and grand children. God...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Elaine & Jim Hamzey - Troy, MI

“Aunt Ruth was a very loving and kind person. Although we were not in the USA often we were always given a warm welcome when we would show up at her...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Irvin & Ruth Schwandt - Nephew

“Ruth, I'm so glad you're home now, no more pain or sorrow. Your grandkids loved you and your husband like no other.Your daughter-in-law thought the...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: sue Martz - macomb, MI - friend


It was in the small southern town of Alva, Kentucky where Ruth Ann Barbu entered this world on the spring day of March 12, 1940. She was the second of twelve children born to Samuel and Nancy Polly (née Moore). To support their large family, Sam worked for the railroads and later in the local mines while Nancy was a homemaker. Being the second oldest girl of twelve siblings, Ruth knew from an early age that she would have to be a second mother to her younger brothers and sisters to help her mother. Fortunately for everyone, Ruth possessed a strong maternal nature and could not have been a more loving substitute.

Ruth was always considered extremely intelligent and an all around good girl who was willing to work hard to achieve the goals she had set for herself. She graduated from Black Star High School in June of 1958. Afterwards, she, like many young people from the south at this time, would migrate to Detroit to join the work force at the many automobile factories. Ruth found a job as a secretary at Chrysler Automotive and lived with her uncles and aunts.

Around this time, Ruth would meet the love of her life, John Barbu, a fellow parishioner at Bethesda Church and worker at Chrysler Automotive. The two were wed on December 17, 1959 at Bethesda. Their first home was with John's mother and after her passing, they would move to their farm house in Macomb Twp.. Here, Ruth enjoyed planting fruits and vegetables in her garden and tending to it daily.

While John would move up through the ranks at Chrysler eventually becoming an Executive, Ruth would seek employment in the Macomb County School System. As time went on, she would earn several promotions and eventually was encouraged to go back to school to receive her teaching certificate. Always a lover of children, Ruth became a teacher and was extremely well respected by her students, their parents and fellow teachers alike.
Ruth knew that she had taken on a great responsibility; molding the minds of small children and teaching them to be someone great was no easy task. But Ruth was an advocate for her students and made sure that each day they left her classroom having learned something. For years to come, former students would beam at the thought of Mrs. Barbu and what a wonderful teacher she was. Ruth would retire after twenty-five years of very dedicated service.

When not busy with work, Ruth enjoyed traveling with her beloved John. The two enjoyed nothing more than loading up their motor home and heading for Oscoda, Michigan and to the Upper Peninsula where they would camp, hike and enjoy all the beauty that the northern part of the state had to offer.

Ruth was also very devoted to her family. She was a wonderfully supportive mother to her two sons, Robert and Jason and as John's health began to fail, she was with him through all of his doctor appointments and hospital visits. Even after her diagnoses with breast cancer in 1994, Ruth kept her illness a secret as to not upset her family. She continued to stay strong for her them and even helped raise her grandchildren, who she could not have been more proud of.

Ruth was terribly considerate of everyone and you could always count on receiving a beautiful card from her for every holiday and birthday. Even with her own health problems, she always would call to check on her many relatives and friends just to make sure they were doing okay. The meaning of "Ruth" is friend, and our Ruth could not have been more appropriately named.

After a twenty year battle against cancer, Ruth Ann Barbu passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on the morning of May 19, 2014. She will be eternally remembered for her devotion to her family, friends and the many students who were blessed to have come under her tutelage. She was a loving lady who cared for everyone and was truly a beautiful spirit.

She will be greatly missed.

Ruth is survived by her sons, Robert and Jason; grandchildren, Nicholas, Sierra, Caitlin, Alexis, Alexander and Brendan; siblings Mary (Norris) Edwards, Bertha (Doug) Twiggs, Norma (Dane) Brooks, Betty (James) Ealy, Jimmy (Norma) Polly, Leonard (Mary) Polly, William (Phyllis) Polly, Charles (Dianna) Polly, Matthew Polly, Jerry (Lavonne) Polly and many extended loved ones and dear friends.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, John; parents and sister, Shirley Faye Polly.

"I Am Home In Heaven Dear Ones"

I am home in heaven dear ones;
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
in this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in heaven at last.
There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth -
You shall rest in God's own hand.
When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting
Oh, the joy to see you come!

In Memory of Ruth Ann Barbu
March 12, 1940 - May 19, 2014