In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Betty Ruth Larimer, 90

Betty Ruth Larimer, 1931-2022
IMB Photo

Betty Ruth Larimer, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Nigeria, died Feb. 2, 2022. She was 90.

Larimer was born Feb. 20, 1931, in Miami Beach, Florida, to the late Estella Pearl Ames and Brady Haskell Larimer. She received a nursing diploma from Jackson Memorial School of Nursing, Miami; the Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida; the Master of Nursing Education from the University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; and a certificate in psychiatric nursing from Miami-Dade Junior College.

Larimer worked as a staff nurse and head nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital and as an instructor in the hospital’s school of nursing. She also worked as a staff nurse in a Pittsburg hospital and as assistant professor at schools in Miami and in Muncie, Indiana.

When seeking missionary appointment, Larimer wrote: “A decision to enter nursing school after much thought, prayer, and consultation with others gave me a very real sense of God’s ability to guide my life in the big and the little things.”

Years later, while living in Muncie, Larimer read an article, “Is This Your Year to Take the Plunge?” which dealt with the need for short-term missionaries. “I think this was the first step in again making me aware of the foreign mission field in a personal way,” Larimer wrote.

“At the beginning of the Week of Prayer Foreign Missions,” she continued, “our pastor mentioned the need for nurses in various fields. … I could not get this off my mind.”

In 1968, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) employed Larimer as a missionary nurse to serve at Eku Baptist Hospital in Nigeria. She also taught midwifery while in Nigeria, where she served 24 years.

After retiring, Larimer was a member of First Baptist of Middleburg, Florida, and later Penney Memorial Church, Green Cove Springs, Florida.

Larimer is survived by nieces Elaine and Patricia Larimer.

A graveside service will be held March 10, 2022, at Garden of Hope at Penney Farms, Florida.

Read an obituary here.