SALINA - Ruth Ann Holcom, 79, passed from this life February 12, 2021, Ruth was born on January 26, 1942 in Abilene to Melvin and Charlotte Eshelman. She leaves behind her special friend, Gary Ackerman of Salina; sons, Rusty Holcom and Aaron Holcom both of Lake Charles, LA; brothers, Ray Eshelman, Salina, Rex Eshelman, Las Vegas, NV; and sister, Rena Sterling, Stillwater, OK.
Ruth is also survived by the loves of her life, granddaughters, Kurstin Holcom, Chicago, IL., Samantha Holcom, Chicago, Lauren Holcom, Lake Charles, LA. and Hannah Holcom, Lake Charles; great-grandchildren, Myla Holcom, Lake Charles, Hallie Holcom, Lake Charles, and Liam Basham, Chicago. Other survivors include her favorite uncle, Russell Swisher; cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Melvin and Charlotte Eshelman; baby sister, Karen Ruth Eshelman; baby brother, Roy Cleason Eshelman; and maternal and paternal grandparents.
Ruth graduated from Salina High School, in 1960. She started her working career as a bookkeeper with the Kansas Department of Transportation located in Salina. She then worked for Randall Morgan Statues, as a painter and later with Dr. Richard Bergen. She worked as a helper and painter on Dr. Bergen’s artwork including his Pony Express Statue. Later Ruth returned to bookkeeping and worked for R and R Plumbing before moving to Lake Charles, LA. While at Lake Charles she worked at a Mansion as part of the Yard/Lawn/Swimming Pool Maintenance team. Ruth loved working outside.
Ruth’s passion was singing and playing the piano. She was known by many as being the manager and upfront singer for the “Sundusters Band” from 1972 to 2000, when the band dissolved. The band played for many dances at the Moose Lodge and other establishments in and around Salina. The Sundusters played many years for the “Run to the Wall – Rolling Thunder” on their way to Washington DC and she gave the riders Teddy Bears to carry to the Vietnam Veterans Wall. Her signature song was “The Teddy Bear Song”. Many articles were written in various magazines and the Salina Journal about Ruth and her Teddy Bears being given to the veterans. The veterans said, “It is hard to ride a motorcycle with tears in our eyes.” Ruth was also a lifetime member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. with family receiving friends from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, February 22, 2021. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 23rd all at Ryan Mortuary, Salina. Burial will follow in Gypsum City Cemetery, Gypsum, KS.
Memorials to VFW Ladies Auxiliary or the Ashby House, Salina.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Ann (Eshelman) Holcom, please visit our floral store.
VFW Ladies Auxiliary
150 S 8th st, Salina KS 67401