Ruth Ann Cassis (Morris) was born in South Carolina on November 27, 1964, “the week before Thanksgiving,” as she liked to say. She grew up with three doting older brothers and two wonderful parents who had, in her words, “the best marriage I’ve ever witnessed.”
After graduating from Covenant College with a degree in Elementary Education, she married her college sweetheart and began a family, a family that would eventually include nine children. In her own words to her kids, “As you know, I longed to have a large family since I was in my single digits! I had that vision to raise lights to pierce the darkness, to make a difference in this world! I have to believe that vision was God-ordained, as He did indeed give me many children! I want you to know I eagerly welcomed each of you with a heart full of awe that God was blessing me with YOU, and how much I enjoy watching who HE has made each of you to be! A line of a Michael Card song comes to mind, ‘you show more of HIM than I’ll ever teach you!’ That is so true!!”
After enduring years of infidelity and manipulation by her husband, Ruth Ann became a single parent when her kids were between the ages of 9 months and 17 years. One year later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought valiantly and was in remission for 10 years. Throughout that time she continued to make special moments for her children, loving them and those they loved. She also gave and received love in her community and eventually became a full-time nanny to other children until the fall of 2020, when it was discovered her cancer had come back and metastasized. She sought healing by every venue available and with great strength of mind and spirit, yet the end of that cancer ultimately came with her passing on April 13, 2022, at home surrounded by her children.
Ruth Ann is preceded in death by her parents, Bob and Elaine Morris, and her children who passed away in utero, Elisha and Jesse Cassis. She is survived by her brothers, Dan Morris (Kathy), David Morris (Terry), Tim Morris (Lisa); her children, Kelly Wilson (Josh), Charlie Didier (Jonathan Kamke), Robbie Cassis (Yoana), Thea Phoenix, Lisa Slack (Tommy), Kathryn Flanagan (Donald), Jonathan Cassis, Joy Cassis (Seanan Appleby), and Nina Cassis; and her grandchildren, Myla, Lucy, Elijah, and Matthias.
Ruth Ann was more comfortable in quiet moments nurturing and uplifting little ones than in any big crowd or social engagement. She owned her Enneagram 2 and Highly Sensitive Personality and accepted them as good parts of who she was made to be. She treated the most vulnerable with respect and dignity, and even in her quiet, “don’t make waves” way, she had moments of “rebellion” that she later in life attributed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When a pastor’s wife told her one of her children deserved a spanking, and Ruth Ann knew her child didn’t understand, she vowed then and there to never spank her child on someone else’s word.
When her circles criticized The Shack for being too “out there,” she read a copy, soaked it up, and then bought one for each of her kids. When “cry it out” was the parenting style of choice, she co-slept and rocked her babies to sleep. When her daughter came back from a camp with a sweatshirt that said Calvinism is Comforting, she balled it up and preached over and over, “You are NOT a worm, you are precious and beautiful and a unique reflection of our loving Creator.” She was passionate about heaven being delightful and real. As her life progressed, she grew immensely in self-compassion and an abiding sense that God loved her. This overflowed into a dramatic love and a beautiful peace she extended to others, and a deep forgiveness and desire for healing even for those who hurt her. We will miss her laugh, her nonstop words of encouragement, nature outings with her, Qwirkle games, watching Bones and Call the Midwife together, her Christmas Eve lasagna, her routine coercion of us into family pictures, her personalized stocking presents, her back-and-forth texts of podcasts and books and songs, her instigating of sharing memories and “highs and lows” at every family gathering, her back scratches, her love of eggnog matched only and ironically by her hatred of eggs, and her compassion for and delight in every living creature. And yet we feel her relief at finally being free of the waves of pain and trauma that were part of her experience throughout her time here on earth, and we know that the love with which she covered everyone in her life continues to cover us.
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
If you are unable to attend Ruth Ann’s service in person, it will be livestreamed at https://www.faithtacoma.org/live beginning at 10:45am on Saturday, April 23rd
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Ann Cassis (Morris), please visit our floral store.