Happenings, News

OBITUARY: MIRIAM J. GRUBER (Aug 27, 1914 – July 23, 2005)

She sacrificed so much for our women

homepage3-Sept 2005

MISS Miriam Gruber, who passed away on July 23 in Ashville, North Carolina, the US, had often referred to death as a celebration and coronation, and a beautiful sunset the evening she died was a reflection of her life as a person and as a missionary.

Born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, she was a graduate of Penn State College and took graduate work at George Washington University and Scarrit College, as well as a year of intensive Mandarin at Yale University, preparatory to her first appointment as a “China missionary” in 1948. Her ministry as a staff member of the Hwa Nan High School in Foochow was cut short in 1951 by the change of government.

Invited to Singapore, her ministry included appointments to Methodist Girls’ School (MGS), Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, Shellabear Hall in Malacca (from 1954 to 1962), and Tamil Methodist Church Singapore (1963-64). From 1966 until she retired in 1974, she was the local Field Treasurer of the World Division of the US Methodist Board of Missions, and the Missionary Matters Committee.

She was also Chaplain of MGS for several years and managed the Missionary Guest House in Singapore, while serving as Chaplain of the Singapore Girls’ Brigade (GB) and being actively connected with the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS).

Miriam met Laureen Ong five days before she died Mrs Laureen Ong, President of the General Conference WSCS, met Miss Gruber at an entirely unplanned lunch fellowship just five days before she died. She re-lived her experience in Malaysia and Singapore, sharing with Mrs Ong pictures of many girls whom she had taken care of in Shellabear Hall and nurtured in the Lord. She had so many stories to tell and asked after everyone she could remember in Singapore.

At their parting, she stood at the door, reluctantly waving goodbye to someone who reminded her of the great part of her life she had so graciously sacrificed for the women in China, Malaysia and Singapore as adviser, mentor and “mother”. She left behind no family but gave to all who knew her a legacy of a family in Christ.

Those with whom she came into contact remember the inimitable cheerfulness and enthusiasm with which she performed her many and varied duties.