Obituary – Wichita Eagle, Morning Edition, December 28, 1944, Page 5


Body of Ruth Wilburn, 23, is Found Lying on FIoor Furnace at Her Home


Mrs. Ruth Wilburn, 23-year-old Wichitan, was found dead at her home, 4220 East Clark, shortly after 7:30 o'clock last evening. Dr. Lang F. Bowman, Sedgwick county coroner, said her death evidently was due to suffocation.
She was the wife of Robert Wilburn, fireman second class, in the U. S. Navy, stationed at San Diego, Cal., and was employed by the General Motors Parts division, 300 West Murdock.
Deputy Sheriff Dale Fairleigh said Mrs. Wilburn last was seen alive about 5:15 Wednesday morning. She spent the Christmas holidays with relatives at Seminole, Okla. returning about 5 o'clock yesterday morning with her brother-in-law, LeRoy Wilburn, 26, of 2708 Rose Marie.
Mrs. Wilburn got out of Wilburn's car at his home and drove her car to her home in Planeview.
Her 15-month-old son, Bobby, had been left at the home of her mother-in-law, Mrs. L. E. Wilburn, 2326 South Topeka. When she failed to call for the child early last evening the family became alarmed.

See Body on Floor

LeRoy and his brother, R. H. Wilburn, 29, of Seminole, went to Mrs. Wilburn's home. They knocked on the door several times, but failed to get an answer. Looking inside, they saw her lying on the floor.
Breaking in a rear door, they found her lying partially over the floor furnace.
Dr. Bowman said she apparently had been standing over the furnace, fainted, and fell upon the hot furnace. It is believed the heat and fumes from the fire caused suffocation.
Her face, both hands and other portions of her body were badly burned, the coroner said.
Mrs. Wilburn had been to bed after returning from Seminole, and was clad in pajamas when found. She had been dead from six to eight hours when found by her relatives the coroner said.
Mrs. Faye A. Higbee, a neighbor, told Deputy Sheriff Fairleigh she a light in the Wilburn home early yesterday morning and dialed the Wilburn telephone but did not get an answer. She said she had a package of fruit for Mrs. Wilburn which had arrived on Sunday and it had been left at her house while the latter was visiting in Oklahoma.

Fails to Answer Phone

"I tried several times by phone to contact Mrs Wilburn" Fairleigh quoted Mrs. Higbee as saying, "but was unable to reach her at any time."
Dr. Bowman said officials of the General Motors company, where she was employed, said Mrs. Wilburn failed to show up for work yesterday.
A native of Arkansas, Mrs. Wilburn, had resided here for the past four years. Her husband, Robert, was a sub-foreman 'in the machinist department at Boeing's prior to entering the navy on May 30.
In addition to her husband, Robert, and son, Bobby, she is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Henry, Seminole, Okla., and two sisters, Mrs. J. D. McMurray, Lawton, Okla., and Mrs. Wayne Mulloy, Great Bend.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Gordon mortuary.
Deputy Sheriffs Joe Maness, Floyd Forister, Dale Fairleigh and Von Nimrod investigated the tragedy.

Obituary submitted by Lonna & Bob Nevil ( This page created for Sedgwick County KSGenWeb by John Schunk ( Not to be reproduced or redistributed without permission.