Ruth Berniece Holdaway Murdock
-- 1927 ~ 2013 --

Ruth Berniece Holdaway Murdock, 86, was born to Leland Eugene and Violet May Moulton Holdaway in Heber, Utah on 1/15/1927. Ruth died peacefully of diabetic complications at a care center in Highland, Utah with family around her on 1/6/2013.

Ruth married the love of her life, LaDell Reece Murdock on 6/21/1948. She graduated BYU in social work and psychology in June 1949. Reece accepted her diploma to the laughter of the audience because Ruth felt too pregnant with their first child.

She possessed many talents, a mischievous wit, and wicked sense of humor. A voracious reader until her eyesight failed, the last book her son Phil and daughter Trea read aloud to Ruth was Donald Hall’s Eagle Pond. Ruth valued, pursued and promoted education, literacy, and the arts. She loved antiques, red geraniums in clay pots, teddy bears, kittens, thrift stores, mashed potatoes and gravy, old movies, all musicals, yard work, deer hunting, and puttering at the family cabin now beneath the waters of Strawberry Reservoir.

Ruth loved raising her family in the old American Fork 2nd Ward. There she participated in ward choirs, taught many Primary and Sunday School classes, and served happily as co-Scoutmaster with Reece. A daughter-in-law remembers meeting Ruth for the first time after picking beans at the church farm. Ruth climbed on the back of son Steve’s motorcycle, utilizing the bean bucked as a helmet for the ride home. She learned to read Danish in order to research ancestral records.

Ruth worked 17 years as an x-ray technician at the old American Fork Hospital. She was also a social worker for the then American Fork Training School. After Reece died of a brain tumor in May ‘76, Ruth was no longer able to endure a hospital environment. So Ruth became the children’s storyteller and then the research librarian who ordered all the books for the American Fork Public Library for another 17 years. Ruth completed a master’s degree in library science at BYU in 1986 while working full time.

Ruth is survived by her sisters: Dorothy H. Eggleston (Heber, UT) and Leah H. Monson (Redondo Beach, CA); Ruth’s five children: Petrea M. (Doug) West of American Fork, Phillip (Beverly) Murdock of Rexburg, ID, Stephen (Colleen) Murdock of Castle Dale, UT, Ross (Pam) Murdock of Enoch, UT, and Russell Murdock, her chief care-giver, of American Fork. Ruth leaves a legacy with ten remarkable grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren (one more’s on the way).

Ruth is reunited with her Reecie and his father Isaac Stacy Murdock, whom she regarded as her father too. She is with her grandmother, Annie K. Jensen Moulton who grew fabulous flower gardens. She adored her older brother Floyd Holdaway, and mourned for and missed her late brothers-in-law Howard Eggleston, and Vern Monson, as well as Reece’s brother Ralph and sister Colleen M. Casper; also brothers-in-law Ellis Casper, Floyd Webb, and Pat Patterson. She is getting to know three grandsons now: Loren Jackson Murdock, Stacy Murdock West, and Joseph Whitley Murdock, in addition to twin great-granddaughters Seija and Daisy Yardley.

The family wishes to thank Ruth’s care-givers at Sunrise and I-Care Home Health Care, particularly loving hospice nurse Lori Liston, RN, and CNA Balenda Gutierrez. Cody, Balenda’s fluffy white Maltese/Pomeranian, jumped into Ruth’s lap joyously almost every day. She would also want the efforts of Kaitlyn Harris, CNA, and neighbors Bill Wood and Ross Bratt who saw to outside chores (without being asked) acknowledged. Long-time home teachers Bill Brailsford and Ted Strong visited Ruth faithfully even in the care center. CNA Katie Johnson took a special interest in Ruth during her holiday stay at the Ashford Memory Care Alzheimer’s/Dementia care center. The Murdock family appreciates the many kindnesses of staff and administrators during Ruth’s weeks there.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Friday, January 11, 2013 at the Warenski Funeral Home Chapel, 1776 North 900 East in American Fork. Friends may call from 10:00 to 11:30 am on Friday prior to funeral services.

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