Ruth Emma Day, 90, died peacefully Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, at Wake Medical Center, Raleigh, NC, surrounded by her children.  

She had just enjoyed the 29th annual Day Family reunion at the beach celebrating her 90th birthday with children, grandchildren and her first great-grandchild before becoming ill.  

Mrs. Day was born July 30, 1927, in Evansville, Ind., to Henry William Hartig and Marie W. Reineke Hartig. Ruth married Russel M. Day of Huntingburg, Ind., in December of 1948. She graduated from the Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Evansville, receiving her R.N. degree in the spring of 1949. The couple started their family in Indiana in 1950 and moved to Washington, Ill., in 1956 where they raised their five children.

Ruth worked as a pediatric nurse at St. Francis Hospital in 1964, then starting in 1969, worked as an office based nurse and continued to work part time up through the 1980s. Ruth was a member of the United Methodist Church in Washington, Ill., and volunteered in various capacities. In 1971, Ruth was initiated into the Washington, IL Chapter HG of P.E.O., a philanthropic education organization supporting women’s educational endeavors. She treasured her member sisters and served in several different offices including president from 1990 to 1992. When she and her husband moved to Elgin, Ill., in 1993, Ruth joined chapter JG of P.E.O. and has continued as an active member.

Ruth was an amazing seamstress, an avid golfer, a voracious reader and a sharp bridge player. She continued golfing well into her late 80s and was still reading and playing bridge until her passing. Her greatest joy was keeping up with her five children, their spouses, her 11 grandchildren and her first great-grandson. She became adept at texting, using Instagram and was still travelling at the age of 90 to stay close with family.

Her loving husband of 53 years, Russel M. Day, passed away May 19, 2001. Ruth was cherished and will be deeply missed by her children and their families:  James M. Day and wife, Mollie of Raleigh, NC, and their children Emily Iverson, Matthew Day, Wesley Day; Janet Day Schneider and husband, Greg Schneider of Elgin, Ill., and their children Jessica Kessler and Jill Groh; John M. Day and wife, Debbie  of Raleigh, NC, and their children John Michael Day, Jr and Ashley Scott;  Jennifer E. Day and husband, Kenneth L. Cortese of Eldersburg, MD and their children Kristen and Timothy Cortese; and Jeffery M. Day and wife, Tonya  of Raleigh, NC, and their children, Nicole and Michelle Day. 

A Celebration of Life in honor of Ruth will be held Saturday, Sept. 30, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 357 Division St., Elgin, Ill. A luncheon will follow at the Elgin Country Club at 2575 Weld Road.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to P.E.O. efforts in women’s education: P.E.O. Scholar Awards or P.E.O. Educational Loan fund both in care of P.E.O. Executive Office, Treasurer’s Dept., 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312; or Cottey College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 1000 W. Austin, Nevada, Missouri 64772; or to the charity of your choice. To donate online or for information:

Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Raleigh, NC is serving the family.