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Ruth Martinelli
(October 8, 1916 - March 1, 2013)

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Ruth Martinelli

Ruth Elizabeth Martinelli, 96, of Centralia died Friday, March 1, 2013, at Centralia Manor in Centralia. She was born on Oct. 8, 1916, in Hoffman, daughter of Frank Francois and Phoebe (Collins) Francois. She married Gene Martinelli on Jan. 20, 1949, in Centralia at St. Mary’s, and he preceded her in death on Feb. 12, 2006. Mrs. Martinelli is survived by one daughter, Mary Jean Warner, “her best friend,” of Centralia; two granddaughters, Marcie Warner-Clayton and husband Kenneth of Belleville, Ill., and Stacie Warner-LeCoultre and husband Gabriel of Miami, Fla.; one great-grandchild, Jordan Eugene Warner of Belleville, Ill.; and four sisters-in-law, Kathryn and Barbara Francois of Centralia, Catherine Skasick of Centralia, and Mary Jane Martinelli of Centralia; many beloved nieces and nephews; special friends, Pat Bryan, Richard and Saunie Blue and Tina Suarez; and special caregivers, Carolyn Lashbrook, Sally Barnett, and Tammy Weathers. She was preceded in death by her parents and five brothers, Harold, Ray, Glen, Dean and Earl Francois. Mrs. Martinelli graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Carlyle, and later from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Alton in 1942. She was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps Reserve in California in 1943 in World War II. She served in the Western Pacific on the Marigold, a U.S. Army ship, and rose to the rank of Captain upon her discharge in 1946. Mrs. Martinelli was awarded two campaign medals during her years of service. After returning from the war, she went to work as a private duty nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital. Then she worked for Dr. Harold E. Snow as an R.N. for 25 years. Mrs. Martinelli was a devoted member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and a past member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Altar Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2055 of Centralia, and was recently inducted into the Court of Honor for local veterans in 2012. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centralia with Fr. Justin Olisaemeka and Msgr. David Darin officiating. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Centralia. Full military rites will be accorded at the cemetery by the Centralia VFW and the Centralia American Legion. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home in Centralia. Prayer services will be held Friday evening at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s School, the VNA-TIP Hospice, or to the donor’s choice, and will be accepted at the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at


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