Ruthie Shellman Torpy

Published 11:16 am Thursday, February 20, 2020

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Ruthie Shellman Torpy

January 29, 2020


Ruthie Shellman Torpy passed away peacefully on January 29, 2020. Ruthie was born on February 6, 1928, in Colquitt, Ga., to parents Jeff and Betty Love. At a young age, she left Miller County for the big city of Phenix City, Alabama. Later, she and her family moved to Bainbridge, Georgia, where she raised her daughters.

Ruthie is survived by her daughter Patricia Shellman Tharin, her three grandchildren, Jennifer Shaw Knight (Travis), Paige Tharin Goldner (Adam), and Baxter Tharin (Cristina), and her six great grandchildren Shaw, Cody, Aiden, Charlie, Annabelle and Davis. John, Tom, and Carolyn (Manos) Torpy, the children of her second husband John, all of whom became family following their marriage, also survive her.

Ruthie was blessed to find love twice in her life.  She was preceded in death by her first husband, Lawrence Shellman, whom she married in 1943. They had two daughters, including Betty Shellman Shaw who preceded her in death. Ruthie was also preceded in death by her second husband John Torpy, whom she married in 2005.

Ruthie proudly managed the Bainbridge High School Cafeteria for many years in a time when school meals were made from scratch each day. She took great pride in providing many students with a healthy, “home cooked” lunch. Ruthie also drove the school bus, and one of her students was Kirby Smart.  Because he was always on time to school, Kirby is now an amazing head coach at UGA . . . and will someday beat ALABAMA! Rest assured, regardless of the opponent, Ruthie will be cheering her beloved Dawgs on to victory!

Ruthie was a woman of many talents including sewing, gardening, and crocheting. She was an avid fisherman and spent many weekends on the lakes or rivers in South Georgia fishing for bass or bream. Whether on the lake, in the garden, or at the sewing machine, there was always an adored dog by her side. Though rarely known to complain, nor speak ill of others, there were certain topics that were very clear-cut for Ruthie. First, she did not like the cold . . . and she hated if it was “real cold” or “just plain old cold.”  She even declined to rescue her grandson from the frozen tundra of Alaska. Secondly, steadfast in her love for her country, Ruthie was never one to withhold an opinion when it came to politics, at times adding color commentary to her thoughts with somewhat salty language.

Ruthie’s faith and her relationship with Christ was very important to her. It was this faith that guided her throughout her life both in times of hardship and joy. She a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend. She will be remembered for her deep love for her family, her unmatched work ethic, and her unwavering faith in God. She was deeply loved in return and will forever be in our hearts.

A memorial service will be held in Augusta, Georgia, her beloved home for many years. The service is scheduled for March 8, 2020, at Martinez United Methodist Church with a reception to follow in the reception hall at the church. Pastor Gary McWhorter will officiate. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Ruthie’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to those who lovingly helped care for Ruthie in her final days: Magnolia Manor of St. Simons (, 2255 Frederica Road, St. Simons, GA 31522 or Hospice of the Golden Isles (, 1692 Glynco Parkway, Brunswick, GA 31525.