Bertha Viola (Cushman) Ruuk, 79, of Holladay Tenn., passed away at Jackson Madison County Hospital with her loving family at her side Friday, March 30, 2018. She was born in Searsmont June 7, 1938, the daughter of Lawrence and Viola (Skinner) Cushman.

Bertha grew up on a farm in Searsmont along with her 12 siblings and she would take on the older brothers with her feisty spirit and they soon learned not to pick on her. She was a hard worker and when she set her mind on something with sheer stubbornness it was going to get done.

She is survived by her loving husband, Harold Ruuk; daughter Debbie Cooper and Dennis; sons Raymond Gelo and Wendy, Randall Gelo, and Russell Gelo; and step-son Billy Allenwood.

Bertha's home was always open to anyone; if you needed a place to stay, a hot meal or just someone to talk with, Bertha was there for you. Bertha was a pioneer in the trucking world, where she did team trucking with her husband Harold for over 25 years before retiring. She enjoyed her family and loved to play poker and cook for them her famous macaroni and cheese or extra spicy Chex mix. If you wanted anything she would whip it up for you. She also enjoyed reading, playing games, crossword puzzles, gardening, and bowling, for which she won many trophies.

She is also survived by her grandchildren Christina Davis, Jessica Cooper, Karla Gary and Shaun, Renee Dillingham and Josh, Shelby Tapley, Hannah Marez, Chris Gelo, Travis Gelo, Tyler Gelo and Haleigh, Jacob Gelo, and Jawna Gelo; 21 great-grandchildren; brothers John Cushman and Jody, George Cushman, David Cushman and Sylvia, Stephen Cushman and Linda, and Larry Cushman and Nancy; sisters Esther Recce and Don, Ruth Merrifield, Mary Baron, Dot Sherwood and Paul, and Janice Glidden and Reginald; sisters-in-law Shirley and Shearlene Cushman; and special niece Amber Clendennin.

She was preceded in death by her father, Lawrence E. Cushman Sr.; mother, Viola E. (Skinner) Cushman; sons Jerome and Roderick Gelo; granddaughter Susie Gelo; great-grandson Thaddeus Gelo; and brothers Bob and Jimmy Cushman.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 5, at Oak Grove Cemetery, New England Road, Searsmont, followed by a celebration of life at Searsmont Community Building. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.