In Memory of





Obituary for Ruth M Johnson (Russell)

Ruth Morse Johnson, passed from this life to her Eternal Inheritance in Christ Friday May 19, 2023. Ruth was born on the mission field in Tibet/China. She grew up amidst a remarkable mission for the first 14 years of her life. Her father and mother, the late J. Russell and Gertrude Morse, led this historic mission effort that would change the eternal trajectory for millions in Southeast Asia. Their lives would encourage thousands of Restoration Movement Churches in America to mobilize to the next level of mission engagement.

Ruth Morse Johnson, would come to the United States to escape the communist take over in China. The Myers from Terre Haute, Indiana had married into the Morse family and provided a safe home for Ruth to continue her education and graduate from Garfield High School. She would later attend Cincinnati Bible College, marry and start a family that would bless her life with 5 children over the next 15 years.

After moving to Joplin, Mo in the late 60’s as a single mother, Ruth attended Franklin Technical School where she earned her LPN, working the night shift at St John’s Hospital. By day Ruth would engage in real estate with a new found vision for business. For the last 50 years she worked hard in developing real estate investments leasing and renting more than 40 different properties. This income would provide enough resources to enable her to be very generous in several mission endeavors.

While she had often wanted to follow in her family’s footsteps on the mission field, Ruth found great gratification in “sending, encouraging, and underwriting missions”. The result of her days would see the expansion of the Gospel of Hope, impacting 1,000’s. Today, In Asia and around the world, there are schools, colleges, medical clinics, churches, Bible translators and Christian efforts that have been blessed by Ruth’s generosity. Entire mission endeavors and Christian medical clinics were built and sustained by her faithful prayerful support. Only in Heaven will she realize her full reach in the Harvest of Changed Lives.

As a mother, Ruth encouraged her children in their academic endeavors...where each of her 5 children excelled. Her eldest son, Russell, can still remember the discussion of neighbors near their farm in Kentucky at the close of the school year. Teens and parents were asking each other ... “Did you pass? Did you pass?” She put an entire new perspective on the conversation ... she made it clear we should be asking “Which honor roll were you on?” Ruth prayed faithfully for her children and provided a tremendous example in her work ethic. She cared for her home and mowed her 11 acres until she was well into her 80’s.

Ruth, was an unapologetic American Patriot. If you spent any time in discussion or on the phone, she would want to mobilize you to make a difference in standing for Godly values in the public square. Her mail box was full of letters and notices of Veterans running for public office. It was her joy to stand with Wounded Warriors who came home from their military service to run for public office. It was not uncommon to hear her ask: “Are you registered to vote?” “Are you informed about the issues?” “Did you know the liberals are trying to steal the heart of America?” She had lived thru the Communist take over of her first home. Ruth understood the need to stand for our Godly American Heritage and was unwavering in her support for her convictions.

Ruth leaves a legacy with 5 children, 20 grandchildren, and 31 great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her father and mother: J. Russell and Gertrude Morse; her brothers Eugene Morse (Helen Myers); Robert (Betty) Morse; LaVern (Lois) Morse; and adopted sister Drema Esther (Jesse) Yangmi. Her 5 children include: Russell Johnson (Babs) of Canal Winchester, Ohio; Kathy Smith (Steve) of Powell, Ohio; Karen Stoner (Tim) of Joplin, Mo; Philip Johnson (Dr Lela) of Bedford, Indiana; and Debbie Bennitt (Mike) of Nixa, Missouri. One of Ruth’s greatest joys was knowing that each of her 5 children have an active faith in Jesus Christ, are woven with the mission of Gospel hope, and are serving in various ministry roles. Her legacy of faith and commitment to Christ and His mission is enduring.

Funeral services have been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the Mason-Woodard Chapel. Her son, Russell Johnson, of Hippo Valley Christian Mission and Ziden Nutt, Good News Productions, will officiate. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Webb City, MO. The family will receive friends during a time of visitation on Wednesday evening May 24, 2023, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the mortuary.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.