Ruth Leonard (Davis) Perdue, daughter of the late O. Lee Davis and Grace Leonard Davis was born on November 17, 1935, in Salisbury, Maryland. She departed this life on November 5, 2023, surrounded by her husband and seven children.
Ruthie grew up in the Newtown neighborhood of Salisbury, Maryland, playing softball for the Salisbury Fire Department and basketball for the Asbury United Methodist team. As a teenager, she enjoyed spending summers in Ocean City with her friends, developing a lifelong love for Thrasher’s french fries and Fisher’s popcorn. During senior English class at Wicomico High School, she sat across from a farm boy from Mt. Hermon, Oren Perdue. As she helped him with his English papers, a mutual interest grew.
After graduating from Wicomico High School in 1953, she enrolled in Salisbury State Teachers College(Salisbury University), majoring in Elementary Education. While attending college, she enjoyed playing basketball, softball, and field hockey.
In the summer between her Junior and Senior year, she married Oren on July 11th, 1956.
Ruth and Oren moved into a former schoolhouse with four rooms and a path. There Alice, Chuck, Linda, Janice, and Paul were born, making her a mother of five children under the age of five. After moving into a nearby farmhouse, the births of Ellen and Judy completed the family.
After being a farmer’s wife for 15 years, she once again became a full-time student when she and Oren enrolled in Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, to prepare for the ministry. When she graduated in the spring of 1974, she received the Key Award - an award given by the faculty for academic excellence and superior service.
She was a faithful wife, supporting her husband in all his endeavors. She was a wonderful mother to her seven children, teaching them with both her words and example. She opened her home to two young boys in need, Ronnie Evans and Bobby Henderson. She was a fun loving “mommom” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a pastor’s wife for 33 years, at the Bible Baptist Church of Ash Grove, Missouri, and at the Salisbury Baptist Temple of Salisbury, Maryland. She was a teacher at the Salisbury Baptist Academy for many years. She was a two-time cancer survivor and a friend to all.
She was a Christian. Ruth accepted Christ in 1955 as a result of the Oliver B. Greene Tent Revival in Salisbury. As a result of that decision, Ruth entered Heaven on November 5, 2023.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Oren Perdue; her brother, George William Davis, (Linda); sister-in-law, Phyllis Davis; her seven children: Alice Bowden (Rick), Chuck Perdue, Linda Nelson (Jason), Janice Tomlinson (Bill), Paul Perdue, Ellen Perdue, and Judy Coulbourne, (Jason); her 17 grandchildren; her 26 great-grandchildren; her three great-great-grandchildren; and her extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents, O. Lee Davis and Grace Leonard Davis; her brother, O. Lee Davis Jr.; and granddaughter, Rachel Elizabeth (Bowden) Holland.
Visitation for family and friends was held at the Salisbury Baptist Temple, 6413 Hobbs Road in Salisbury, Maryland, on Thursday, November 9, from 7-9 p.m., and on Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by funeral services which began at noon.
For those that weren’t able to travel, services were livestreamed and can be found at or on her tribute page at
Interment was limited to members of the family.
The family would like to thank Coastal Hospice for their loving care during her final days. Contributions may be made in her memory to Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733, Salisbury, Maryland 21802.
Arrangements are in the care of Short Funeral Home in Delmar. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting


Lawrence County Record

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