Cumberland Times-News


February 1, 2009

Ruth Leone Houck Rephan [Frostburg]

FROSTBURG — Ruth Leone Houck Rephan died on Feb. 1, 2009, at Braddock Hospital.

She was born on May 4, 1929, in Tunnelton, W.Va. The daughter of the late George Clifton and Lula Elfrieda Barncord Houck, Ruth was the youngest of eight children and was the last remaining member of her immediate family. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Robert “Reppy” Rephan who died in June of 2008.

She is survived by her three children, Robert William Rephan Jr., Russell Lee Rephan and Rebecca Ann Rephan, and their families.

Ruth spent her early childhood in Grantsville where her parents lived in and managed the Casselman Hotel. She graduated from high school in Boonsboro and then went on to Frostburg State College earning a teaching degree, graduating in the class of 1950. At Frostburg, Ruth was a campus sweetheart, and was honored by faculty and peers to represent FSC at the Winchester Apple Blossom Festival where Bob Hope was the Master of Ceremonies. She did additional coursework at NC State and the University of Virginia.

Ruth dedicated her life to teaching. She began her career in Boonsboro – but in 1955 started a 35-year commitment to Allegany County. Spending a few years at Fort Hill High School, she then transferred to Beall High, which became her “home.” She served as the head of the English Department where she earned the respect of faculty and students alike – even some who didn’t like “English.” She donated countless hours to the Mountaineer family, coached tennis, sold tickets at all athletic events and was a visible representative at everything BEALL. She ran the drama department, taught the courses, advised the drama club and during her tenure produced nearly every dramatic production at the school, including three act plays, the one act play tournament, the annual May Day production and a host of assemblies. As a teacher she was passionate and strict, and as if the high school teaching was not enough, she taught night school and adult education.

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