Virginia Ruth (Hazzard) Patee, 101, passed from this life on September 16, 2023. Virginia was born on June 17, 1922 in Gentryville, MO to Otis and Effie (Myers) Hazzard.

Ruth, as she preferred, graduated from Worth High School, Worth MO.

On December 20, 1941 Ruth married the love of her life, Major James C. Patee Sr. in Grant City, Mo. He preceded her in death on November 11, 2009.

Ruth and James worked on a farm in Isadora, MO where their first child was born. In July 1944 James answered the call and they began an amazing 20-year military career in the U.S. Army. Living in California, Kentucky, Hawaii, Germany and many other duty stations and as a military wife she embraced this life with all the strength, courage and love of supporting her husband as he served his country. Ruth and James retired in June1964 after 20 years in the Army.

They returned to St. Joseph, Mo where James started his second career with Sears Roebuck and Company while Ruth began her new life with 2 boys in college, 2 elementary aged girls and an infant son. They bought a beautiful house that had been neglected and together they worked tirelessly to make it their home. Ruth resided in their home for almost 60 years.

Ruth was an avid lover of all plants and animals. Feeding, studying and then educating us about her birds, there wasn’t an animal that didn’t love her nor a plant that she couldn’t make grow including her 60-year-old Angel Wing Begonia that is still thriving. An amazing chef, meals were always the highlight of any family gathering. In her spare time Ruth enjoyed reading, watching her “shows” and listening to Tommy Dorsey and Gene Autry country music.

Ruth was a member of the Order of The White Shrine of Jerusalem, as well as a 55-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star,

Her parents, siblings Ruby Allen, Reba Killen, Mary Chowning, Patricia Dunlap, Barbara Catron, Forest Hazzard, Roy Hazzard and great grandson Tyler James Merrill precede Ruth in death.

Ruth is survived by her children, James Patee Jr. Shawnee KS, Jerry (Karen) Patee Pensacola FL, Debra (Richard) Wilson Wichita KS, Jean Ann (David) Merrill Maryville MO, and John (Angie) Patee Camden Point MO. Grandchildren, Kathleen, Kerri, Bradley, Brian, Brent, Scott, David II, DJ, Danielle, Derek, Dakota, Dannen, Debrielle, Chris, Kassie, Loren. Great Grandchildren, Shane, Shannon, Malorie, Braden, Laila, Carter, Aubrielle, Ethan, Tristen, Gabriel, Koehn, Knox, Michaela, Abigail, Lillian, Delaney, Drake, Charles, William, Paige, Landen, Miles, Caleb, Emma, and Ellie. Sisters, Joan Jennings, and Marjorie Catron, and many nieces and nephews

Farewell Services and Public Livestream 1:00 P.M. Saturday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. Interment Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will gather with friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Wounded Warriors, Alzheimer’s Association or Veterans of Foreign Wars. Online guestbook and obituary at

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