Remembering John and Ruth Santrock
At 2PM tomorrow, September 2, 2012, at the First Baptist Church in Nitro, friends and family will be celebrating Ruth’s life and saying good-bye. When I was in high school, John was my principal and Ruth was the office secretary. She continually looked past my insecurities and encouraged and affirmed me.
Out of thousands of students under John Santrock’s leadership as Principal, I am one of those who can trace the joy of my professional life back to him. It was his recommendation that secured for me the WV Legislature’s Teacher Training Scholarship that paid my college expenses. Without it, I would not have been able to complete college when I did, if at all. (See photo below.)
When I graduated from college early three years later, he gave me my first teaching job at my alma mater, Nitro High School. After three years of teaching, with his recommendation and encouragement, I left the comfort and familiarity of that job, my family, my friends, my town, and my church and moved to Michigan to complete graduate school. That was the beginning of the rest of my life story. I am deeply grateful for my dear principal, Mr. Santrock, who expressed an unwavering faith in my abilities and aspirations.
He died in September four years ago at age 89, and his dear wife Ruth’s funeral is tomorrow, September 2, 2012. Theirs was a love story—raising a son and a daughter, and influencing thousands with their compassion and unabashed devotion to each other and to Christ. His was a story of bravery in war: shot, imprisoned, escaped, and awarded a Purple Heart.
For those—especially from my hometown Nitro and home county Kanawha—who might be interested in reading more about the Santrocks, check out this article written by their granddaughter after his death: http://activerain.com/blogsview/688984/john-f-santrock-jr-a-tribute-to-my-grandfather-d-john You can also find a list of their son’s published books on amazon.com (John W. Santrock).
Read more about their life here:
Photo: Mr. Santrock presenting me (Yvonne) the Board of Legislature scholarship at our awards ceremony, May 1958.