Ruth Graham Dies

The beloved wife of Billy Graham, she slipped into a coma yesterday and died today:

Ruth Graham, the wife of U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, died on Thursday after slipping into a coma, the popular preacher’s office said.

Graham, who was 87, died at 5:05 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) at her home at Little Piney Cove in Montreat, North Carolina, surrounded by her husband and five children, the office said in a statement.

“Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team,” Graham said in the statement.

“No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.”

She and Billy were married for 64 years; the two of them touched so many lives.

Time Magazine has a wonderful piece. She was a remarkable but very down to earth woman:

Barbara Bush and Ruth Graham shared an extensive correspondence over the years and a great deal more: both were strong-willed and outspoken women who married young and found themselves responsible for large families while their husbands moved in ever-widening circles around the world. Both women also looked out for their sometimes too-trusting spouses. And each could unholster a wicked sense of humor when she needed it. In 2006 Barbara noted that Ruth had once been asked whether, as a Christian, she had ever contemplated divorce. Barbara explained, “Her answer, was, ‘Divorce? No. Murder? Yes.'” Added Barbara, “I could understand that.”

I like this part the best:

Ruth brought to their union just the right skill set to manage a household as unusual as hers. She liked to tell their five children that “there comes a time to stop submitting and start outwitting” — a rule that applied to herself as well, such as when she tried to hide a broken arm from Billy because she didn’t want him to know that she had gone hang gliding.

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