ARCHBOLD, Ohio - Rutheda M. Short, 79, who for more than 50 years helped operate and greet visitors at the funeral home and furniture store owned by her husband's family, died Monday in the Fulton Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Wauseon.
The family said the cause of death was acute renal failure.
Mrs. Short married her husband, Robert G. Short, an Archbold native, in 1947. The couple lived in Cincinnati for a year while Mr. Short attended embalming school. They settled here in 1949.
Mr. Short worked with his father, Joseph L. Short, at the family's Short Funeral Home, 500 North Defiance St. Mrs. Short also helped out at the funeral home, handling the cleaning work and greeting visitors at the front door with warmth and courtesy during calling hours, her husband recalled.
Mr. Short said of his wife's role in the funeral business: "She was very much in the background - and at the front door."
She also played an active role in helping operate the family's other business, Short Furniture Co. Whenever Mr. Short needed to leave the store for a funeral, Mrs. Short filled in for him and ran the place. The Shorts had three sons, and they built an addition to the funeral home and made their home there in 1963.
The two businesses kept the family busy during the work week, yet on Sundays both Mrs. and Mr. Short volunteered to deliver meals to shut-ins through Meals on Wheels at Fairlawn Haven nursing home, Archbold. She did that for 30 years.
"She enjoyed volunteering and doing good for people if she could," Mr. Short said.
Mrs. Short continued to help out at the funeral home and furniture store for as long as her health permitted, until about 2000. The Shorts sold their furniture store last year, although the funeral home is still owned and operated by the family.
Mrs. Short was a member of Central Mennonite Church, Archbold, and taught fourth grade vacation Bible school there for many years..
She was born near Pettisville in Fulton County in 1927 and was the youngest of the four children of Pearl and Roy Yoder. She was a 1945 graduate of Pettisville High School.
Surviving are her husband, Robert; sons, Randon, Royce, and Reid; six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Central Mennonite Church, Archbold. Arrangements are being handled by the Short Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.