A Mass of Christian Burial for long time St. Mary’s Catholic High School teacher Ruth McCarville, age 91, of O’Neill, will be 10:30 A.M. Saturday, December 12, 2015, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in O’Neill. Burial will follow in the O’Neill Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday, December 11, 2015, from 5-8 P.M. with a Rosary at 7 P.M., at Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill. Ruth passed away on Thursday, December 3, 2015, in Omaha, NE.
To honor her memory and her passion for education, the family requests memorials to St. Mary’s Schools in O’Neill. ‘Irish Eyes Were Smiling’ in a farmhouse on the Iowa-Minnesota border on January 21, 1924 when Casey and Margaret Egan welcomed their second child into the world. Ruth Margaret joined her sister, Mary Clare (Fischenich), and was later joined by Patricia (Lopez), Raymond, Eugene, and Gerald. In a home surrounded by love, a strong Catholic faith, a true appreciation for education, solid work ethic and a passion for music, Ruth grew into a beautiful, scholastically motivated, and musically talented young woman. She graduated from St. Mary’s in Ellsworth, Minnesota and went on to pursue degrees in Piano and Vocal Music and Secondary Education at the College of St. Theresa in Winona, Minnesota. She became a high school Music, English, and Journalism teacher in South Dakota.
While a college student, she met a charming and handsome young John McCarville (from Bonesteel, South Dakota). When John returned from his WWII Naval Duty, they became engaged and were married in August of 1948. They moved to O’Neill, Nebraska where John would join his father and brother, Joe, in the retail clothing and shoes business (McCarville’s). With her outgoing personality and many talents, Ruth became involved in St. Patrick’s with choir and as an organist, as well as participating in community drama and music endeavors. She embraced her call to motherhood and became “best mother in the world” to Michael, Mary Kay, Patricia, John Thomas, and James.
While a young mother, Ruth was involved as Scout leader, room mother, piano teacher and accompanist. She was active in Altar Society, Catholic Daughters, Knights of Columbus Auxiliary, and the Community Concert Series organization. For years, she would assist Sister Flores with Music at St. Mary’s and when her children were all school age, she returned to the teaching profession there where she directed Vocal Music and taught English and Journalism. In collaboration with Drama Director, Barbara Birmingham and with the help of choreographer Vivian Melena and accompanist Nancy Grady, Ruth directed Musicals at St. Mary’s in O’Neill from 1968 thru 1986. The four are remembered fondly by their students as the “Fantabulous Foursome”, who could turn football players into show-stopping dancers and transform a small town high school stage into a glimpse of Broadway for a few nights each year. As Faculty Yearbook and Newspaper Sponsor, Mrs. McCarville also molded young men and women into efficient young journalists who could cover a story objectively, meet deadlines, and persuade the readers with well-researched editorials. It was no wonder that in 1998, she was honored by the Omaha Archdiocese as Secondary Educator of the Year.
Upon retirement, Ruth continued her work as organist and adult choir director at St. Patrick’s Parish, providing inspiring music for liturgies, weddings and funerals. She was an avid reader, loved to play Bridge, and taught newcomers to the house to play “Pitch” and Pinochle with fierce competiveness. She loved to watch Nebraska football and all baseball, cheering for the Cardinals (NL) and her victorious Royals (AL). She listened to the St. Mary’s Boys and Girls Basketball and Volleyball games on KBRX cheering them on just like she was still on the gym bleachers.
Her gift of inspiration extended to her grandchildren. She always tried to “be there” for them as they received the sacraments, graduated, and got married. Her home on North Seventh was always “abuzz” on the holidays with great food and traditions like family caroling around town, to the patients in the hospital, to her beloved Sisters at the convent and to family friends, and then home for an evening of trivia and board games with family.
On December 3, 2015, at nearly 92 years, Ruth answered the call to join the choirs in heaven. Her passing from this life will be difficult for those who have counted on her optimism, strength of character and strong faith, but they have a mountain of fond memories and the certainty that her unconditional love for them will endure through eternity. Ruth leaves behind children Michael (Paula) McCarville, Mary Kay (Daniel Schueths), Tricia (Scott Reetz), and James (and friend Lisa) ; grandchildren Melissa (Brian Phillips), Cory (Christy) , Joshua, and Jesse McCarville-Schueths, Luke (Megan), Ryan (Emily) and Megan Ann Reetz, Matthew (Katie), John, and Patrick McCarville; Randy (Kristy) Arellano, Heather (LaRon) Henderson, and Noni (Chuck) Furlano; and great-grandhildren Tyler, Carter, Gillian, Hailey, Casey, Owen, Evelynn, Mariana, Chad, Blake, Zach, Noni, Justus, Christian and Amelia.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband John, one son J.T., her sister Mary Clare and brother Raymond.