Donald Lee Ruthven, age 85, went to be with his Heavenly Father Saturday, January 23, 2021 at McLeod Hospice House. Don was born in San Diego, California to Otis and Lois Ruthven on December 18, 1935. As a career Navyman, Mr. Otis brought the family back to their hometown of Darlington to live. As a young boy, Don had a job as the local paper boy delivering papers on his bicycle each morning before going to school. He attended St. Johns’ High School in Darlington where he excelled in both baseball and football. Upon graduation in 1954, Don earned a scholarship to play football at Newberry College. When he returned home, he was employed at the Darlington Manufacturing Company for a short time. He then moved to Dixie Cup (American Can Company) where he worked for 46 years finishing his career as the supervisor over the Plate Plant machine shop.
Don was drafted into the Army 10 months after marrying his high school sweetheart, Peggy Jean Weinberg, in 1957. He served his country for 4 years starting on the west coast and finishing at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC. After his honorable discharge, Don continued to serve with the Army National Guard. Donald attended First Baptist Church in Darlington where he had served as a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher and Sunday School Director. He also was involved in the Dixie Youth Baseball Program as a Coach for over 20 years. After his retirement from Dixie, Don spent his time gardening, helping care for his grandsons and thoroughly enjoying attending his grandsons’ recreation, travel and high school baseball games. He was always ready and willing to help out his daughter as a chaperone to the SC Aquarium for the biology classes that she taught. Also, Donald was an avid fan and supporter of the South Carolina Gamecocks.
In addition to his wife of 63 years, Donald is survived by his daughter, Dona Jo Ruthven Brown, and her husband, Barry, his 2 grandsons- Brycen and Brayden, all of Darlington; his sister, June Ruthven Berry of Jacksonville, Florida, very special friends, Jimmy and BJ Blackmon of Darlington and many nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Ila Ruthven Marshall and her husband, Bill; sister-in-law- Emma Lena Weinberg Sherrill and husband, Bill; and 2 brothers-in-law, Charlie Berry and Billy Weinberg.
The family would like to thank his caregivers: Tiesha Burns, Terronica Graham (and Kaden), and Woodrow Robinson. Also, thanks to everyone that extended prayers, delivered meals and provided support during his extended illness; as well as, the kindness shown by the staff at McLeod Hospice House.
Graveside services directed by Belk Funeral Home will be held at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at Grove Hill Cemetery in Darlington. A viewing will occur at the Funeral Home on Monday, January 25 from 1-5PM. The family will receive friends following the service at the cemetery. They ask that masks be worn.
Donations in his memory can be made to First Baptist Church, 216 S. Main St., Darlington, SC 29532 or The SC Aquarium (Sea Turtle Rescue), 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401.
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