City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Helen Ruskey

Garner, North Carolina

Age 89.
Died 07/14/2023.

Helen Ruskey
Visitation Time: A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Interment: Private

Helen Sue Ruskey, 89, of Garner, North Carolina, passed away on Friday July 14, 2023 of heart failure with her family by her side. She was and always will be loved.

Helen was born August 27, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois to Hazel & Marion Farris (deceased). Survivors include daughters Anne and Mary Mitchell; sister Ruth Stencel; nephews Jack (Diane) Ruhl, Chuck (Tami) Stencel and Mark (Jackie) Stencel. Grandnieces include Krystyn (Piero) Pecora and Jessica (Jake) Exline. Extended surviving Ruskey family include Patricia Ruskey, Rebecca, Joseph, and Michael Ruskey and Patricia Kendall; Frank Burda and Christi Gleason; Kim, John, and Paul Komacki. She was preceded in death by husbands Jerome Mitchell and Joseph Ruskey; sister Marguerite Ridgeway; niece Jaclynn Lickteig; and stepchildren Starr Komacki, Joseph Ruskey and Pamela Burda.

Growing up a self-proclaimed wallflower (highly debatable), Helen fell in love and married Jerry Mitchell in 1959. They had two daughters and shared 13 great years together until Jerry passed unexpectedly. As was typical she took care of what needed to be done – returned to school, worked multiple jobs to support the family, saw her kids through the teen drama years and beyond. None of it was easy but Helen persevered, and usually with good humor. Helen loved dancing and met her second husband Joe Ruskey at a Chicago ballroom. They shared 17
happy years together until he too passed unexpectedly. After a lifetime in the Chicago area, she moved to North Carolina where she continued to enjoy the things she loved most.

Her backyard always bloomed with gorgeous flowers from spring until fall. She enjoyed listening to many types of music, especially Dixieland jazz and the blues. She loved musical theater, regularly attending the Broadway touring company performances when they came to town, and never missed her favorite Les Mis. Helen was a crossword puzzle aficionado - not the easy ones but the NY Times tough ones most people avoid. She also stayed true to her Chicago roots and supported the White Sox AAA team the Charlotte Knights. Helen was an engaged and informed citizen who closely followed politics and never missed voting in local and national elections. She was a dog lover particularly fond of Corgis, especially her crazy dog George who tended to rule the roost. And she threw great parties and mixed a mean cocktail. Angel Helen was generous to everyone and loved by her friends and family. She had a way of patiently listening and advising when things needed to be said. She will be deeply missed by many and will always hold a special place in our hearts.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the SPCA of Wake County,
200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, NC 27603.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations