Mrs. Ruth Hilda Forney, 81, beloved wife of Melvin Dale Forney and a resident of Seaford, formerly of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, passed away Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at TidalHealth Nanticoke in Seaford. Born Sept. 14, 1939 in Tasley, VA, she was the daughter of the late Wilson Payne and Eva Davis Payne.

Ruth was a certified nursing assistant, having worked at the former Shore Memorial Hospital for many years. Raised in a Christian home, she remained dedicated to her faith throughout her life and was a devoted member of Laurel Wesleyan Church. She especially enjoyed hosting a weekly bible study group, “Women of the Word,” and loved working in her flower garden.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Mitchell Jones and his wife, Patricia, of Laurel, Wilson Jones and his wife, Patti, of Greensboro, NC, and Tammy Marshall of Seaford; sister, Gloria Ann Godsey and her husband, Red, of Accomac; brother, Billy Payne of Fox Grove, VA; eight grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Other than her parents, she was predeceased by her sister-in-law, Nancy Payne.

Funeral services were conducted from the graveside at the Mount Holly Cemetery in Onancock, VA on Wednesday, Jan. 13, with the Reverend Scott Conn officiating.

Contributions in Ruth’s memory may be made to Laurel Wesleyan Church, 30186 Seaford Road, Laurel, DE 19956, or online at

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.