Skip to content


Ruth “LaNell” Toates (Martin) went to see her Savior, whom she trusted and loved since February 18,1976. She passed on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

LaNell was born May 18,1947 to Mabel and Dean Martin in Green City, Missouri. She was the youngest of seven children.

LaNell married the love of her life, Ray Toates on April 2, 1977 in Springfield, Missouri. They celebrated 40 years of marriage before his passing on May 10, 2017.

Mom loved to play the piano. She started playing at an early age and played for her church as a little girl. Later, she played for Cherry Street Baptist on both the piano and organ and during lunch breaks, she loved to play the pipe organ at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church.

She shared her musical talents playing for nursing homes, her grandchildren’s school programs, weddings and many celebrations. She even recorded her music to gift to her friends and family. She loved to sew, garden, prepare the Sunday school prayer list, and text with her friends and family. But her favorite thing she loved to do was read her Bible, pray, and talk about what she learned. She looked forward to seeing her Savior.

LaNell’s career life was filled with working as a secretary for the senior Pastor at First and Calvary Presbyterian Church until 1997. She retired when her husband, Ray, retired from City Utilities. She also held various secretarial jobs, including, Courtney & Peebles law firm, KTXR radio station, and substitute secretary for the Springfield Public Schools. She worked until Ray and her finally decided that they would love to travel the world together.

She was preceded in death by the love of her life Ray Toates, her dad in 1978, and her mother in 1980, her siblings Ross Dean (infant), Herb Martin, Dorothy Kent, Charles Martin and Jim Martin, and Jeanne Fuller.

LaNell is survived by her three children, three step-daughters and their spouses: Kimberly Deren (Kevin), Aaron Toates (Karen), Phillip Toates (Whitney), Deborah Brown (Llewellyn), Patricia McMullen, Sandra Rhoades (Richard) and son-in-law Ed Fuller (Beth); 24 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren, sister Martha Sutherland, and many nieces and nephews.

In honor of LaNell, a private family burial was held on Saturday, April 28th, 2022 at 12:00 pm at Rosedale Valley Memorial Gardens in Nixa, MO and followed by a memorial service at Seminole Baptist Temple in Springfield.