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Keith Norrington 08-25-2013 11:03 AM

In Memoriam - Ruth Rutherford Seabrook - 1916-2013
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It is with great sadness that I report the passing, on Friday, of Ruth Rutherford Seabrook at age 96. Ruth was the widow of prominent New Albany funeral director Paul W. Seabrook, who passed away in 1989. Paul was well known in river circles and had served as steersman and mud clerk on the steamer TELL CITY. Paul's great grandfather was Capt. Lexington Wolf who was a master-pilot on steamboats during the Civil War. As a lad, Paul became friends with many local rivermen and sometimes got to ride on the big towboats of the era, including the mighty steamer SPRAGUE. In the 1940's the river rose so fast that the Str. GORDON C. GREENE could not get under the K&I Railroad bridge here. Paul invited his friend Capt. Tom Greene to tie up at New Albany and set up a temporary office for Greene Line at the funeral home until the river receded. As usual, river people are happy to give!

The Seabrook Funeral Home was tastefully decorated in river art and artifacts for many years. I am so privileged and grateful to have known both Paul and Ruth as close friends from the time I was a teenager. They were always very encouraging of my river interest -- and more than generous with gifts of steamboat memorabilia.

Ruth was a lady by every definition of the word and I will forever treasure the memories of visits with Ruth and Paul in their lovely apartment above the funeral home which is now operated by grandson Mark Seabrook. Ruth was always the same; kind, cheerful, friendly and gracious to all. Paul's younger brother, Corrie Seabrook, was watchman on the DQ for some years. He passed on in 1996.

Ruth and Paul enjoyed MANY trips on the Str. DELTA QUEEN and in later years when Paul was unable to go to the river, I took the river to him via slides and pictures which he greatly enjoyed and appreciated. Ruth was a fabulous cook and I fondly recall sharing some delicious meals from her kitchen.

Ruth's funeral service in celebration of her long and fruitful life will be on Wednesday morning (10 AM) at the Culbertson Baptist Church, which she served with great devotion for many decades. Visitation will be at the funeral home (1119 East Market Street) on Tuesday from noon until 8 PM. Burial will be in Graceland Memorial Park.

We have indeed lost a fine lady and a good friend of the river and steamboating -- and to river people. May she rest in eternal peace and glory.

(1) Capt. Roy Barkhau visits with good friends Paul and Ruth Seabrook at the 1973 S&D meeting.
(2) Ruth & Paul Seabrook enjoy visiting the newly restored pilothouse of the TELL CITY at the Ohio River Museum on September 21, 1977. The late Jim Swartzwelder took this photo during a DELTA QUEEN shorestop at Marietta, downbound from Pittsburgh.
(3) Diorama featuring a model of the ROBT. E. LEE at the Seabrook Funeral Home, 1984.

Judy Patsch 08-25-2013 11:56 AM

I remember spending a great evening visiting with them in their apartment, but I was jittery when the phone rang, wondering if it meant 'someone' would soon be arriving downstairs! Didn't they give you one of the paintings when they retired, in appreciation for your longtime friendship?

Frank X. Prudent 08-25-2013 02:19 PM

Speaking of funeral homes. Several years ago when my grandfather was laid out at T.P.White F.H. in Cincinnati, I spied a beautiful crystal chandelier hanging in the entrance hall. I had seen ones just like it in photos and up at Greenwood Farm in Newport, Ohio. I also knew that Chris Greene's widow LaRie was hostess at T.P.White for a number of years. The funeral director confirmed it was from one of the Greene Line boats although he didn't know which one. I rather imagine that it is from the CHRIS.

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