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A fond farewell to
Ruth Stafford Peale

New York, February 11, 2008 She bore one of the most famous clergy names in America, and she was widely known as the First Lady of Positive Thinking.


"Ruth Stafford Peale was blessed with a long life," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA. "She used nearly all of her 101 years to reach millions of people with the good news that God loves them and Christ is the foundation of hope."


Ruth Peale, the widow of the Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, died February 6 at her home in Pawling, N.Y. She was a long-time friend of the National Council of Churches where she was the first woman chair of an Assembly planning committee in 1966. She also served on the board of The Interchurch Center at 475 Riverside Drive in New York.


Born in Fonda, Iowa, she married the legendary Peale in 1930. "When I was introduced to Norman he held my hand a fraction of a second more than necessary," she once recalled. "I said to myself, this will be interesting."


Mrs. Peale was Chairman Emeritus of Guideposts which, with a paid circulation of 2.5 million, is among the largest 25 periodicals in the U.S.


She was a member of the Board of the American Bible Society, the Institutes of Religion and Health and the National Bible Association. She wrote numerous articles appearing in popular magazines, as well as an autobiography, A Lifetime of Positive Thinking.


Mrs. Peale was the first woman president of the National Board of North American Missions of the Reformed Church in America and served for 10 years as president of the RCA's Women's Board of Domestic Missions.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228,


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