URBANA — Ruth Peirson, former vocal music director at Graham Local Schools, died Monday, January 4th at the McCauley Center in Urbana following an extended illness.

Ruth was born in Holland, Michigan, June 16, 1921, to John and Charlotte Zuiderhoek.

She spent most of her early years in Lima, Ohio, and graduated from Bluffton College in 1944. In high school and college, she counted among her friends TV personality Hugh Downs and comedienne Phyllis Diller. After graduating, she settled in Champaign County teaching several years at Lost Creek School, Christiansburg Jackson School, and St Paris School, which was later consolidated into the Graham School system. Her career spanned 35 years with her retirement in 1979. She taught vocal and instrumental music in all grades, ending as the head of the vocal music department at Graham High School. She produced spectacular musicals each year to the delight of the whole community. She had great help with these productions from her musically gifted husband, D’Wight Peirson. They had quite a partnership, even teaching private voice and piano lessons together in their spare time for many years. Many lifelong friendships were made through the years with her students and community members. Ruth appreciated so much the visits she received at the nursing home from her many students and friends. Theses visits were the highlights of her days.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Phillip, and her devoted husband, D’Wight. She is survived by her two sons, D’Wight Jr. (Becky) and David (Liane), three grandsons, Jess, Nathan (Megan) and Jonathan (Dana), and three great grandchildren, Ava, Cannon, and Griffin.

Arrangements will be made by Shively Funeral Home in St. Paris, OH, with a private graveside service in Wheelock Cemetery near Nashville east of West Milton, Ohio.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 24th at the Christiansburg United Methodist Church at 2:00 P.M.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Christiansburg Fire Company, P.O. Box 300, Christiansburg, OH 45389.

Condolences to the family may be sent to