Ruth Elizabeth Carrigan, 96, of Amarillo, died September 7, 2021. Ruth was born in Follansbee, West Virginia to the late Raymond P. Butcher and Elizabeth Horner Butcher. She talked proudly of the large trees and beautiful mountains in her home state.
As a child growing up, Ruth endured several tragedies. Losing a brother and later her mom died when she was 16. When she was a senior in high school, her father left her on her own. Ruth has lived a life of great courage.
Being one of “the Greatest Generation”, Ruth joined the United States Cadet Nursing Corps in 1943. Studying in Gary, IN, she was eager and ready to serve her country in WW II as a RN Nurse. Being a nurse was the pride of her life.
She started her RN career as a surgical nurse in Chicago, IL where she met and later married Jimmy Carrigan. She loved ballroom dancing and bowling. Ruth and Jimmy moved to Texas where they started a family, settling in Abilene, TX. She had 4 children, Marsha, Pat, Colleen and David. Ruth was a woman of deep faith in God. She instilled goodness, faith in God and honesty in her children. Sadly, her husband, Jimmy, died in 1969. Ruth took the reins and worked at Hendrick Medical Center for 27 years as a charge nurse over entire sections of the hospital. She raised all 4 children on her own, often working double shifts so her children would not go without, sending all 4 to college. Ruth had a never wavering love for her children her entire life. She now has been blessed with grandchildren and great grandchildren that she loves as well.
Ruth retired after 50 years of nursing in 1994. After retirement, she moved to Amarillo where she enjoyed being a secretary for Paul French of French and Co. Realtors.
In 2004, Ruth lost her oldest son Pat to cancer. She always showed perseverance and courage in the face of great tragedy and loss. Without a doubt, Ruth was a pillar of strength in every way. She enjoyed music from Glenn Miller Band, Bee Gees to Alan Jackson. Ruth also liked swimming and exercising with Tai Chi, but most of all, she enjoyed helping others because it was the right thing to do. She was a true angel.
She is survived by two daughters, Marsha Carrigan of Las Cruces, NM and Colleen Dryden of Amarillo; one son, David Carrigan of Amarillo; son-in-law, Dick Buchanan of Las Cruces, NM; daughter-in-law, Barbara Carrigan of Amarillo; grandchildren, Amanda Carrigan Licon, Julian Carrigan and girlfriend Natalie Beeman, Kelli Buchanan Giron and husband Jacobo, Erica Buchanan, Chris West and wife Marit; great grandchildren, Sophie Giron (age 10) and Oliver Giron (age 5); niece, Marilyn Weemhoff. She was preceded in death by her husband, James M. Carrigan, a son, Patrick Carrigan, a granddaughter, Chasity Pinson and a sister, Maxine Weemhoff.
Funeral services will be 6:00 PM Monday, September 13, 2021 at the Schooler Funeral Home Chapel, 4100 S. Georgia, Amarillo, TX. Graveside Prayer Services will be 3:00 PM Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at Elmwood Memorial Park in Abilene.