In Memory

Ruth Esther Parkison (Giddings) - Class Of 1941

Ruth Esther Parkison (Giddings)

Ruth Esther Parkison Giddings

March 16, 1923 - Feb. 26, 2020

SOUTH BEND, IN - Ruth Esther Giddings, nee Parkison, age 96, of South Bend, Indiana, passed away on February 26 at Palos Hospital in Palos Heights, Illinois.

Esther was born on March 16, 1923 in Mishawaka, IN, the only surviving child of Paul Parkison and wife Ruth (nee Wynegar). They lived in Rensselaer until the height of the Great Depression, when the loss of their farm and her father's sudden death drove her and her mother to join extended family in South Bend, there to rebuild their lives.

After graduating in 1941 from Central High School, she went to work for Prudential Insurance. She married Lyle D. Giddings in 1947 and soon left her job to start a family. She and Lyle joined Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1948, where Esther served as a Sunday school teacher, elder, and financial secretary. After raising the kids and helping Lyle operate a pair of coin laundromats, she took a job at Huff's Pharmacy on Portage Ave. Ten years later, retirement and the sale of their businesses afforded them the chance to see the world, traveling to Hawaii, Cuba, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K., and Europe, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land. Lyle's passing in 1998 brought to an end a blissful fifty-year marriage.

In 2013, after enjoying years of comfortable retirement, Esther relocated to an assisted-living community in Crestwood, IL. Last summer, in declining health, she was moved to the nearby Palos Heights Nursing Home.

Esther was a proud member of DAR, being a direct descendant of Joseph Parkison, a figure in the Whiskey Rebellion, pioneer Elizabeth Jarboe, and the famed frontiersman, Simon Kenton.

She is survived by her children, Lucinda Brooks, Daniel (Claudia) Giddings, and Scott (Beth) Lynch-Giddings, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Family will receive friends from 3:00 to 5:00pm on Saturday, March 14 at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home, 521 N. William St. in South Bend. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1501 Cleveland Rd., South Bend, IN 46628. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

03/09/2020 JFC