Ruth Bell Graham, 87, evangelist Billy Graham’s independent and strong-willed wife, who had been plagued with ill health in recent years, died June 14 at her home in Montreat, North Carolina. Considered the intellectual of the family, she published several collections of poetry and prose. But she was better known for her determination to stay out of the limelight during her husband’s long and celebrated career.
The daughter of Presbyterian missionaries to China, Graham maintained a strong commitment to her faith and found time for prayer and Bible study every day. Those habits influenced her five children, especially Anne Graham Lotz, who has modeled her mother’s spiritual discipline in her career as a Bible teacher and evangelist to women.