In Memory

Ruth Slack

Ruth Slack

Ruth Ann Slack

b.  November 15, 1953

d.  August 9, 1970


Ruth died in a plane crash in Peru as a foreign exchange student the summer before our senior year in high school.  She was an honors student and always cheerful and friendly.

from the website:  http://www.august91970.com:
On August 9, 1970, at 2:46 p.m., a Lockheed Electra crashed and burned, moments after takeoff, in San Jeronimo, Peru.  Among those who died were forty-nine American high school students, who were 14 to 18 years old. They had been spending 6 weeks in Peru on an exchange program sponsored by International Fellowship, of  Buffalo, New York.

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09/07/11 01:05 AM #1    

Jesse Barreda

I remember Ruth very well. We had become very close friends in a short period of time.  I was in awe of her good nature and her intelligent way to look at life.  Her musical talent was so natural and from her heart...  She wrote me twice from Peru.  I still have those letters. One was about the poverty she saw around her when in the City.  It hit her hard when she saw little children begging.  She wrote, " why do they have so little when God gave me so much?".  Those words are cemented in my head and even now if I feel things could be better I think of what she taught me in a simple letter and I quickly snap out my mood and realise how lucky I am. I am sure Ruth touched many friends the same way. Her second letter was how much she loved her "family" in Peru. She also let me know that she had bought something for my grandmother and wanted me to come by her house to get it when she got home...  I was at my summer job when news of the plane crash was reported on WGN.  I was devastated and couldn't move.  I went to the phone and called her home.  Ruth's father answered and I couldn't talk right away, then all I could say was "is it true?".  Mr. Slack said "Yes, but don't be sad, Ruth is in a better place and you have to believe that".  His faith was so strong and steadfast.  It took a long time for me to absorb what happened, but I know Ruth is still looking over all of us.

12/17/12 05:31 PM #2    

Ronald Black

Ruth was like a sister to me.  I would often walk her home from school and we would talk about her boyfriend and my girlfriend, as well as the classes we had together.  She was the one that told me in advance about me making Madrigals for Senior year, and after several years in band, we were looking forward to singing together.

When the news came out that she passed away, I was personally crushed.  I still pause to remember her every August.  She was one terrific girl.

I will never forget the memorial service.  There was so much of a crowd, there were literally people on the sidewalk listening outside the church.  Later, I worked for her Dad in Blue Island.  I found her parents to be strong people of faith.  In fact, it was Ruth's Mom who said, "It is at a time like this that you find out if your faith is all you say it is."  For them, it was.

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