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Ruth Jean Christoff Landon of Roanoke passed away at sunrise on April 26, at home, surrounded by family after a bad week but a wonderful life. She was 92. She and her husband, the late Willis (Bill) Landon, are survived by six children, 12 grandch... Read More
Ruth Jean Christoff Landon of Roanoke passed away at sunrise on April 26, at home, surrounded by family after a bad week but a wonderful life. She was 92. She and her husband, the late Willis (Bill) Landon, are survived by six children, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
She was a loving mother and friend and a dedicated early childhood educator who influenced a vast network of parents, children and teachers.
Ruth Jean (also known as Chris) was born in 1931 in Gloversville, NY, to parents Henry and Minna Christoff. following older brother Stanley. Their parents taught them the value of self-sufficiency, patience, thrift, and hard work. An excellent student, she overcame her father’s objections to attend Cornell University where she was one of the first female students in the School of International Labor Relations and knew Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a classmate.
At Cornell she met Bill, an Army ROTC officer and former Marine. They married and she left school when he graduated, beginning a decade of migration first to Texas then New York, Massachusetts, then Maine, while Bill served first as an officer in the US Army, then as a store manager for Sears and Roebuck. They had six kids in ten years, all in different towns. At each stop Chris dove into church and community. She also sewed clothes, knitted sweaters, and put a balanced hot meal on the table every night, including her famous desserts.
In Indianapolis, when her last child went to elementary school, she went to work part time at the Castleton United Methodist Church preschool, and eventually became the Director of Christian Education and presided over launch and exponential growth of CUMNS Kids, a wrap around early childhood school and daycare that became the best of its kind. She taught parenting classes and promoted the Conscious Discipline philosophy of self regulation and positive intent. For her work she was honored in 1999 as a Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon, the highest honor available to citizens of the Hoosier State.
She presided over a loving, fun home, with a legion of dogs, cats, monkeys, kids, kids’ friends, grandkids, and neighbors who thought of the Landons’ backyard pool as a social club. She loved flowers, especially roses, chats with friends on the patio, and late-night hot tubs.
After the kids moved away, Bill and Chris often traveled to visit family and friends and took trips to Ireland, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. Just before her recent hospitalization, she was plotting with her friend Lois to attend their 70th class reunion at Cornell, and she planned to attend her granddaughter Chloe’s wedding in June.
In 2008 Chris and Bill retired to Roanoke to be closer to their son Tom and his family and Bill’s brother Forest and his wife Barbara. Diving once again into church and community, Chris taught a 5 year old Sunday school class in her 80s, and joined the knitting circle, and was always quick with a homemade cake or hot dish for someone in need.
She also joined the Newcomers, the Athenian Society, a wonderful book club and a writing group. She was known by neighbors for her daily walks with her beloved dog Dolly, trailed by Boots the Cat.
Chris is survived by her family: children Barbara Landon (David Shaw), Kathryn Landon Malone (Larry Malone), Richard Landon, Peg Vogel (Louis Vogel), Michael Landon (Hannah Silverstein), and Thomas Landon (Beth Macy); grandchildren Meghan Desjardins (Nathan Desjardins), Colin Malone (Hannah Malone), Rex Malone (Erin Rockmore-Malone), Alex Buechner (Katie Cole), David Buechner (Charlotte Traver Buechner), Sylvan Vogel (Stephanie Morrison), Willa Vogel (Abraham Smith), Samuel Vogel (Elizabeth Coffey), Chloe Landon (Jake Hughes) Phoebe Luthringer (Vanessa Luthringer), Max Landon (Zachary Dowling), and Sasha Landon; and great-grandchildren Ella, Hugh, Norah, Rosalind, Briar, Owen, Samuel, and Jackson.
Other beloved family are Karen Landon (Mike Doyle), Jeff Landon (Mary Landon), Tracy Landon (Ed Smith), Christian Warren Landon, James Christoff, Karen Christoff Lang, and Diana Christoff Spurlink.
The family wishes to thank
The Raleigh Court Methodist Women and especially dear friend Sarah Pero
Pastor Taylor Martins and the Raleigh Court United Methodist Staff
Kia and Andreas Pinafore at Ecoscape Landscaping
Nurse Corey and the medical staff at Lewis Gale Hospital
Rick and Mary Margaret Isbell
Everyone who reached out with love, food, remembrances and condolences.
Services will be held Sunday May 7th at Raleigh Court United Methodist Church at 1:30 pm.
The service can be livestreamed here: https://rcumc.org/watch/
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Ruth here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.
PLEASE NOTE: The reproduction of any copyrighted images is forbidden without express written permission from the copyright holder. We reserve the right to delete, without warning or notice, any image in violation of any copyright laws.
By subscribing to email updates, you will receive two daily updates containing all new stories, photos, condolences, and more. You will also receive a one-time email, one week prior to the anniversary of death. The email will only serve as a reminder should you choose to connect with the family at what will no doubt be a difficult time.
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