- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ruth S. Peale, 101, started Guideposts

NEW YORK (AP) — Ruth Stafford Peale, who with her late husband, Norman Vincent Peale, co-founded the global inspirational organization Guideposts, died Wednesday. She was 101.

She died at her home in Pawling, N.Y., about 70 miles north of New York City, Guideposts spokeswoman Kelly Mangold said.

Mr. Peale, one of the 20th century’s foremost preachers and motivational speakers, authored “The Power of Positive Thinking,” a classic best-selling book that outlines how people’s lives can be improved and strengthened through faith. Mr. Peale, the longtime pastor of Manhattan’s Marble Collegiate Church, part of the Reformed Church in America, died in 1993.

The couple founded the Guideposts organization in 1945, along with the magazine by that name, which is still a leading publication with an annual readership of about 8 million.

At her death, Mrs. Peale was chairman emeritus of Guideposts, which next month is launching OurPrayer.org, an online prayer community. The Ruth Stafford Peale Prayer Power Network named in her honor already receives about 600,000 prayer requests a year.

Mrs. Peale, also a religious leader, speaker and author, handled publication of her husband’s sermons at the Peale Center for Christian Living in Pawling, which has a worldwide outreach division. The center’s programs include Knit for Kids, which distributes handmade sweaters to children in need.

She also was a member of the board of directors of the American Bible Society, the Interchurch Center, the Institutes of Religion and Health, and the National Bible Association.

Guideposts provides hundreds of thousands of free magazines and booklets to hospitals, nursing homes, military organizations and relief agencies.

Mrs. Peale, born in Fonda, Iowa, graduated from Syracuse University and taught high school mathematics before she entered a marriage that lasted 63 years.

She leaves two daughters, Margaret Peale Everett of Sherman, Conn., and Elizabeth Peale Allen of Pawling; a son, John Stafford Peale of Palmyra, Va.; eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

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