Morris and Ruth Hurst

Virginia Ruth Von Tungeln Hurst

Virginia Ruth Von Tungeln Hurst was called into heaven on July 5, 2019. She will reunite with her family and friends who she hasn’t seen in a long time where music, laughter and love will abound.

She asked for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to celebrate the life she has had here on earth and to know that she will see them all again.

Ruth was born April 19, 1925, to Henry R. and Edith “Dee Dee” Von Tungeln in El Reno. She was married to Morris D. Hurst on June 20, 1943. She grew up on a farm outside of El Reno. In 1956, Morris and Ruth together started Hurst Thrif-T-Wise Food Market where Morris was a prominent butcher and Ruth kept all of the books. During their 50 years in the grocery business, Ruth also worked at Heaston and Wesley Methodist Churches as the pianist/organist, bell choir and children’s music director. Her most important job, however, was raising their three children.

She was a member of the Damrosch Music Club, Philanthropic Educational Organization, United Methodist Women, Wesley United Methodist Church of El Reno and the El Reno Community Chorus.

We will remember Ruth’s beautiful smile, her warmth, her energy and the love that she shared with everyone she met. She made a difference in the lives of so many. Her happiest times were those when she would have all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and others at her house for Sunday dinners.

She is survived by her brother, Phillip Gene Von Tungeln of Sugar Land, Texas; her son, Randy Hurst and wife, Terri; her daughter, Pam Kelleher and husband, Mike; and her son, Kent Hurst and wife, Patti. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Chris Kelleher and wife, Misti, Julie Phillips and husband, Chad, Melodie Duff and husband, Jason, Rustin Hurst, Micah Hurst and wife, Genta, T.J. Marr and husband, Chris, Tera Merveldt and Jason Merveldt; great-grandchildren, Kenzie Morris and husband, Cole, Cooper Kelleher, Trey Phillips, Tyler Phillips, Cody Phillips, Christian Duff, Jordan Duff, Gavin Duff, Jacob Marr, Josh Marr, Tylee Hurst, Madison Trammell, Logan Malone, Davin Malone and Jaxon Merveldt; and many nieces and nephews.

Her husband of 76 years, Morris, entered the gates of heaven just four days prior than Ruth. Her parents, Henry R. and Edith “DeeDee” Von Tungeln, and three brothers, Harold, Lloyd and Henry Jo also preceded her in death.

A memorial service for Ruth was held at Wesley United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 6, 2019, with Wilson Funeral Home handling the arrangements.

Morris Dean Hurst

Morris Hurst peacefully left his earthly home for his eternal home in heaven on July 1, 2019, with the family at his side.

Morris was born April 5, 1921, to George and Nettie Hurst in Calumet. He was a graduate of El Reno High School and El Reno Junior College.

He worked at Allison’s Grocery and Market before marrying Virginia Ruth Hurst at Heaston Church on June 20, 1943, and promptly left for the Philippines with the United States Coast Guard during World War II. While he was stationed in the Philippines, the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

In 1946, Morris returned to El Reno where he and Ruth began their family, working again at Allison’s Market for a short time before being hired at Charles White’s Grocery. Shortly after, Mr. Kelso hired him to manage his Village Market. Mr. Kelso also owned a clothing store in downtown El Reno.

In 1950, Morris ventured into business on his own, buying a building in the Fair Addition district of El Reno and calling it Hurst Grocery. In 1956, he bought nearby Cooksey’s Market and later Glass Grocery, expanding his services. He maintained hundreds of charge accounts for families all over town allowing them to buy groceries throughout the month until they would receive their paychecks. Also during this time he began supplying all of the fried onion burger restaurants with their meat and other supplies (Johnnie’s, Robert’s, Bob’s, Darrel’s, etc.) Being known for selling fine meats, he also took over selling Hensley’s Family Restaurant all their steaks, hamburger meat, etc.

He and Ruth continued this business at Hurst Thrif-T-Wise Food Market until his retirement about 1990, after almost 50 years in the grocery business in El Reno. During this time he also served on the Canadian County Excise Tax Board for many years, the El Reno Zoning Board and the Board of Adjustments and served on the El Reno School Board for 18 years and on the Board of Regents for El Reno Junior College/Redlands Community College for over 20 years.

Morris was an extremely avid OU fan, attending many football and basketball games over the years, and also greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing.

In his later years he enjoyed spending time on his farms, raising cattle and growing wheat.

Recently Morris celebrated his 76th wedding anniversary with his wife, Virginia Ruth Hurst.

Awaiting Morris in heaven were his parents, George and Nettie Hurst; his brothers, Lester Hurst, Arthur Hurst and Harlan Hurst; and his sister, Katy Palmer. Following him in heaven was his wife, Virginia Ruth Von Tungeln Hurst.

Surviving family members include his son, Randy Hurst and wife, Terri of El Reno; daughter, Pamela Kelleher and husband, Michael of Norman; son, Kent Hurst and wife, Patti of Calumet. Grandchildren include Melodie Duff and husband, Jason, Rustin Hurst, Micah Hurst and wife, Genta, Chris Kelleher and wife, Misti, Julie Phillips and husband, Chad, T.J. Marr and husband, Chris, Tera Merveldt and Jason Merveldt. Great-grandchildren are Christian Duff, Jordan Duff, Gavin Duff, Tylee Hurst, Kenzie Morris, Cooper Kelleher. Trey Phillips, Tyler Phillips, Cody Phillips, Jacob Marr, Josh Marr, Madison Trammell, Logan Malone, Davin Malone and Jaxon Merveldt; as well as many nephews and nieces.

Memorial services were held Saturday, July 6, 2019, at Wesley United Methodist Church. Arrangements were handled by Wilson Funeral Home.

Donations to Wesley United Methodist Church of El Reno or Russell-Murray Hospice of El Reno are requested in lieu of flowers.

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