Rita Ruth Kallas, affectionately known as Ruth, 86, of Noblesville, passed away on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at Harbour Manor Care Center in Noblesville.
She was born on May 25, 1932 to Lawrence and Eula (Duncan) Wells in Big Stone Gap, Va.
Mrs. Kallas grew up in Big Stone Gap, Va. during the Great Depression. She was the second youngest of nine children, growing up in a tight-knit family with parents who instilled in their children the importance of hard work and the love of family. Her family remained her most treasured possession throughout her life, and she always looked forward to the next meeting or conversation with the people she loved. After finishing school in Virginia, she moved to Columbus, Ohio to spread her wings and find her purpose. After working and living in Columbus for a time, her fearless nature and adventurous spirit stirred in her a desire to see more of the world. With her courage in tow and not much else, she made the fateful decision to take a cross-country voyage with her brother Glenn who was in the Marine Corps at the time, stationed in Los Angeles, Calif. It was during this time while living and working in Los Angeles that she met a young Navy Corpsman named George Kallas at a USOC dance. George was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. after just returning home from the Korean War. Mr. and Mrs. Kallas saw each other as often as they could after that first fateful meeting until George’s enlistment ended, and he returned home to Pennsylvania to finish his college degree which had been interrupted by the war. From that point on, a long-distance relationship ensued that ultimately led Mrs. Kallas to move back east to be closer to Mr. Kallas. They were married on June 22, 1957 near Mrs. Kallas’ childhood home in Big Stone Gap and ultimately settled in Erie, Pa. where they welcomed all four of their children into the world. In 1978, Mr. Kallas was transferred to Noblesville with his company, GTE, and he and Ruth spent the remainder of their lives as residents of Noblesville.
In life, Mrs. Kallas was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a great-grandmother. She loved taking trips back to her childhood home to see her family in Big Stone Gap - especially in October when the smoky mountains were transformed by the changing of the leaves. She also loved the newness of Spring when she could pursue her love of gardening, planting her favorite flowers and making her home a beautiful place for others to enjoy. For a time, she worked as a professional floral designer in Noblesville. But above all else, she enjoyed spending time with her family and was the happiest when she had a baby on her lap or in her arms. She was appreciated by many for her kindness and generosity. She was loved by family and friends alike and was an informal ‘mom’ to her children’s friends as well. She loved them by providing a warm and loving home to all who entered. Mrs. Kallas was an excellent cook which she owed to her childhood on the farm and was known for never letting anyone leave her house with an empty stomach. She welcomed more than one needy soul into her home during hard times, and she was a gracious hostess to those who needed a little help, shelter or warmth beneath her roof. Mrs. Kallas was a Christian woman, and she practiced her honest Christian values by caring for and supporting those less fortunate. She made monthly donations to multiple children’s, homeless, and veterans organizations.

Survivors include her daughters, Kimberly Melrose and Carol Kallas; sons, David Kallas and Craig (Elizabeth) Kallas; grandchildren, Melissa (Scott) Cook, Kevin Melrose, Joshua Melrose, Emily (Kevin) Karimi, George Kallas, and Blair Kallas; great-grandchildren, Olivia and Rory Cook and Kennedy and Kaden Karimi; son-in-law, Jeff Melrose; sisters-in-law, Mary K. Fleming of Greendale, Wisc. and Bess K. Martin of DuBois, Pa.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, George Kallas; and all eight of her beloved siblings.
Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at Randall & Roberts Fishers Mortuary with Andy Baker officiating. Burial will be at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Indianapolis. Family and friends may pay their respects two hours prior to service.
Online condolences may be made at www.randallroberts.com