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Obituary

Ruthie Dell Fairchild, 71, of Rockford, transitioned on May 22, 2018 as a result of a car accident. She was born on August 21, 1946 in Ackerman, Mississippi, the daughter of Joseph and Esther (Brown) Fairchild. She graduated from high school at age 16 and as valedictorian, received her Associates degree from Clinton Community College and her Bachelor's degree from Mount St. Clair. Ruthie was a community activist. She was involved with the Lead Like Jesus program, a prison and family ministry in the jail system,The Buddy House at Blackhawks Courts Farm, Patriots Gateway Community Center and was the Zion Outreach coordinator for over 20 years.

Her accomplishments were many and include: 2007 Rockford Park District "Community Service Award", 2008 YWCA Marcella Harris Award for Community Service, 2008 City of Rockford "Woman of Vision" Certificate, 2011 City of Marion, IL Letter of Appreciation for "Garden Project", 2011 Chester W. Anderson Civic Hero Award, 2011 Patriots Gateway Center "Ten Year Service to Youth" Award, 2012 Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farm Training "Certificate of Completion", May 3, 2012 Rockford Public School "Principal of the Day" Certificate, 2012 Lutheran Social Services of Illinois "Certificate of Appreciation", 2016 Angelica Organic Learning Center "Good Food Advocate" Award, 2016 & 2017 Excalibur Award Finalist, and 2018 Inspiring 815 Civility Award.

Survivors include her children, Malika (Wilson) Miller, Edward Jerome Williams; her extended children, Cassandra Jackson, LaNette Williams and LaMonte Williams; grandchildren, Demetrius (Tyesha) Perry, Dominique Williams, Darius R. Yancy, Jonniece D. Reese, Danesha(Darius) King, Divon Hanson, Jeremiah Ellis, Freddy Hanson, and Jabaar Ellis; sister, Annette Jones; brothers, Willie (Julia) Hughes, Malik (Roshelle) Lee, and Joseph (Marclene) Robinson, and a host of extended grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Predeceased by mother, Esther Lee; father, Joseph Fairchild; step father, McKinley Lee Sr.; daughter, Acena Williams; brother, Jerome Fairchild; and sister, Ernestine Fairchild.

Services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 in Zion Lutheran Church, 925 5th Ave., Rockford, with Reverend Dr. Michael Thomas officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at Zion and also from 10:00 to 10:45 am on Wednesday prior to the service in the church. The family requests in celebration of Ruthie, please wear your most stylish hat. Memorials may be made to the Ruthie Fairchild Memorial Fund @ Chase Bank. Our thoughts and prayers are with her sister in Christ, Mary Norman.

Condolences & Shared Memories (6)

  1. Dyanna Rose Walker

    I am blessed to have known and worked with Ruthie on many community projects. I can best express what Ruthie meant to me with these words: some people come into our lives and quickly go; some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same. Yes, we are all better for having Ruthie in our lives.

  2. Russ and Terri Koester

    When Ruthie entered the room we all jumped to attention! She had a way of cutting through things to get to the real simple issues. She had great advise and Jesus inspired messages. A real "can do" message. I heard from Jail Clergy that many men cried when they heard of her death. Who will be there now for the people that she walked with on a daily basis. We will always remember Ruthie.

  3. Kristin D. Wilson

    My deepest sympathy to Ruth Fairchild's family and also the Rockford Community. You lost a God-fearing, loving mother and grandmother. We in this community lost a caring soul who was a compassionate warrior of justice who led by example. I only knew Ruth for a short time but I was tremendously blessed through walking and talking with her the last time we saw each other at the YMCA. Heaven has gained a gem.May you RIH, Ruth.

  4. Linda Cundiff

    My prayers are with the family at this time of need.

  5. Frank& Sonja Beach

    It's hard to believe that our dear friend has left us, but we know where she is and that thought gives us all a blessed hope. May God grant your family the strength you need during this time.

  6. Kristine Valdes

    So sorry for your loss, I remember Ruthie for a long time. Helping her on Wednesday mornings at In the bag at Zion Lutheran Church. She was a very strong, compassionate, caring lady who loved serving the Lord she was the example of being the hands and feet of Jesus. She will be truly missed


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