We live in an area where there aren’t many Black people. A Black male nurse cared for me following surgery at a local hospital, a number of years ago, but few Black people reside in our community.

Our congregation was visited by a Black woman, named Ruth Brazil, one summer. She said she had moved here and was visiting different churches, seeking a place where she felt at home. We immediately liked her and hoped that she would continue to worship with us.

It was quite a while later that she returned and said she would like to continue worshiping with us. She was such an asset to our church family. Besides being an ordained minister, she was an excellent teacher, had worked in prison ministry in California, did counseling, and owned a real estate agency that her son was managing in California. Besides all that, we found her to be both warm and witty.

I was pleased to become one of her close friends. She became active in the community, serving on various boards and committees, speaking in various churches and creating a bond of friendship with all kinds of people.

I was an elementary teacher, director of music and the choir at First Christian Church and involved with women’s ministries. One Sunday, a woman visitor to our church became confused with both of our names being Ruth. She marched up to Ruth Brazil and said she had so wanted to meet Ruth Bosserman, and thank her for helping her grandchild through some difficult times in school. She grasped Ruth’s hands warmly and then quickly left. Ruth hadn’t had a chance to get in a word or to correct her identity.

A member of the church was standing by, taking all this in. She marched up to Ruth Brazil and loudly proclaimed, “You are not Ruth Bosserman!” My amused friend eyed her accuser and drawled, “Ahm not? Well, we look alike.”

Dear Lord, may it be so! To look like this compassionate, caring woman, who had devoted her life to serving all people, regardless of their skin color, or their status in life, would be the highest kind of honor.

— Ruth Bosserman, 91, of Clarkston

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