Leah Ruth (Summersett) Ries

January 31, 1921 ~ October 29, 2021 (age 100)


Beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to many, passed away peacefully on 29 October, 2021 three months short of her 101st birthday..

Leah was born January 31, 1921 in York Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. She was the daughter of the late Clifford W. Summersett and Hazel ( Pollock ) Summersett  and was a lifelong resident of Van Wert County.

As a little girl, she walked to and from elementary grade school, a little one-room red-brick school house, located on Middlepoint-Wezel Road, near Middlepoint, OH and later graduated from Middle Point High School.  On August 30, 1941, Leah married R. Wayne Ries.  Together they moved into the Venedocia area to begin family farming operations.  There she was often called to duty to drive tractor and carry food to the men working in the farm fields.  When farm workers were working near the house, Leah would ring the old bell she had salvaged from her one-room school house letting the workers know that lunch and/or dinner was ready.  Everyone had to come to the house quickly because she didn’t like serving cold food, and if they delayed they found a hot cook.  Leah took her first factory job in Ohio City, OH at the tomato plant.  From there, Leah went to downtown Van Wert, to work at the Morris 5 & 10-cent Store on Main Street where she worked at the candy bar/counter, and later she went to work at the Charles (Charlie) Williman & Son’s Grocery.   Later still she went to work for Aeroquip Corporation for the next 13 years until she retired to be with Wayne who had suffered two heart attacks. When Wayne went into the ministry in mid-life, Leah as the wife of a United Methodist Church minister was supportive & followed her Christian faith to serve others in their time of need. They attended Kingsley Methodist Church; later, moved to Continental, OH, where she lived in the United Methodist parsonage from 1957-1966.   Later during her retirement Leah & Wayne would drive to Tucson, Arizona to spend the winter months with many of their other friends whom they had become acquainted with from all over the USA.

Her hobbies were gardening, fishing and travel and in her final years Leah resided at Vancrest Assisted Living in Van Wert, OH, where she met many friends & made new acquaintances.  While some days were better than others, she no longer needed to shop for groceries, her meals were prepared for her, she enjoyed having a cleaning service & someone to make her bed each day, plus all the interaction with so many friends and acquaintances.  As Leah would say: she felt like a Queen having all those services available at her fingertips and was deeply appreciative of all of the Vancrest staff. 

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Wayne Ries, her beloved son Stephen Ries, brother Warren Summersett and sister Esther Ley.  She is survived by her daughters, Connie Knittle (Tom) Jones, of Van Wert, Nancy Ries of Van Wert  and her son, Robert (Becky Runser) Ries of Van Wert; eight grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren. 

The Family will receive friends on November 6th, 2021, at the Cowan and Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, Ohio, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Funeral Services will be follow at 11:00 a.m. 
In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials are to Lincolnview Bible Board and Kingsley United Methodist Church through the funeral home.

Messages may be forwarded to the family through the 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leah, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
November 6, 2021

11:00 AM
Cowan & Son Funeral Home
616 South Washington Street
Van Wert, OH 45891

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