Mrs. Ruth Rutledge

  • Born: December 7, 1921
  • Died: September 10, 2009
  • Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Anderson-Clayton Brothers Funeral Home

301 West Nash Street
Terrell, TX 75160
Tel. (972) 524-6417

Tribute & Message From The Family

Ruth Rutledge, a respected former Terrell citizen and businesswoman, died at her residence at Boulder Manor in Boulder, Colorado on September 10, 2009. Her death followed a gradual decline in health over the years, and then a brief illness.
Ruth Rutledge was born in Elmo, Texas, on Dec. 7, 1921, the youngest child of Virginia Hortense Echols Mathews and Jerry Cleveland Mathews. Her father was a traveling preacher who, while supporting a large family, also worked as a salesman and farmer, mostly in Central and East Texas.
When Ruth was 16 years old, she won a scholarship from her church to Mary Hardin Baylor University in Belton where she studied Journalism. Later, she transferred to the University of Texas in Austin where she met and fell in love with Harold K. Rutledge (H.K.) who was studying to be a pharmacist. They married and moved to Kaufman. During the later years of World War II, she commuted with other young women to Arlington to work in an airplane factory while he served in the U.S. Navy in San Diego, Calif.
Later they moved to Jacksonville, then to Terrell where Mr. Rutledge purchased Bass Drug Co. and opened Rutledge Drug Co. (formerly Whites) and served as one of Terrells premier pharmacists for the better part of four decades.
Mrs. Rutledge worked as the drug stores bookkeeper in the early years, but had even bigger tasks cut out for her at home. Raising five children, she took an active part in their endeavors. She served as Girls Auxiliary (G.A.s) leader at First Baptist church, cooked dinners for youth choirs, led Girl Scout troops, took care of the Girl Scout Little House, and aided the Baptist area missionary for a time as his secretary.
Most nights she prepared two suppers - one for the children and herself, then a late one for her husband. She had a strong work ethic, a result of being raised by hard-working parents in the depression era.
When her nest began to thin, she accepted the position of church librarian for First Baptist Church. She had a passion for reading and spent countless hours ordering and organizing quality books to enrich the lives of the church members.
In order to refresh her writing skills, she enrolled in community college, and then began contributing stories, vignettes, and columns to the Terrell Tribune. Her other civic involvements include participating in the Pilot Club and working 12-hour shifts at the polls on election days.
Current Terrell residents will remember Mrs. Rutledge best as founder of Hometown Health Foods. Prompted by her sisters interest in the new health food trend she opened the store as a sole proprietor and ran it with the aid of only one or two employees for twelve years. She offered a wealth of health food knowledge to her customers, family and friends.
She is survived by four daughters: RuthAnn Ridley of Colorado Springs, Lynda Rutledge Stephenson of Wimberly, Texas, Cyndi Rutledge of Boulder, Colorado, and Diane Rutledge Hazel of Bulverde, Texas; seven grandchildren: David Kendrick Ridley, Robin Hope Ridley, Stephen Eric Ridley, Marilee Diane Hazel, Tyler Kendrick Hazel, Joshua Seth Drake and Ethan Cord Drake; two sisters-in-law: Ann Rutledge, Hellen Rutledge; and two great-grandchildren: Audrey Brown and Desmond Graham.
Preceding her in death are her husband, Harold Kendrick Rutledge Sr., who died in their home in 1986 after a long illness; and her son, Rick Rutledge, who was killed in a car accident near Terrell in 1965.
The Family will be accepting Friends on Thursday, September 17 from 5:00PM to 7:00P.M. at Anderson Clayton Funeral Home in Terrell. A graveside memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, September 18, at College Mound Cemetery. Everyone is invited to take part in this homage to her life.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Ruth Ann,
Your mother was our Girls Auxillary teacher, and she did a masterful job. How she had the patience to tolerate us is beyond my comprehension. She was always so pleasant and kind and such a wonderful teacher to us all. I am sorry for your loss. Judy Arthurs

Posted by Judy (Whitt) Arthurs - Houston, VA   September 21, 2009

Deep sympathy to all .. I vividly and fondly remember both your mom and dad. If I can get out to College Mound in the near future, I'll surely go by her grave and visit. Sincerely, Curtis Rushing.

Posted by Curtis Rushing - Terrell, TX   September 21, 2009

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Rutledge girls in the loss of your mother. You will never know how much Mrs. Rutledge impacted my life as a young girl growing up in First Baptist Church, Terrell. She was truly Christ's servant and will be sorely missed. God bless you.

Posted by Carol Springer Chambers - Spring, TX   September 20, 2009

Dear Diane,
I am late in receiving this sad news and sorely regret having missed you and your family in Terrell.

When we were kids, visiting you at your parents' beautiful home on First Street was always an exceptionally wonderful experience for me. Your family, the art, the music, and the quadrupeds Smoky and Andy are dear memories of happy times.

Your mom with her knowledge of herbs was of great help to me and I have missed her, your dad, and their stores for years. Their beneficence to the community will be remembered for a long time.

For Susan, John, Becca, and Stan, I send you and all the Rutledge family our sincerest condolences. May your mom rest in God's loving peace.

With much love,
Lisa Hamm King

Posted by Lisa Hamm King - Terrell, TX   September 18, 2009

My Grandmother Maurine Valentine worked for her for many years. When I was a child, I would go there to the soda fountain an Mrs Rutledge was always a very nice lady to me. My grandmother adored her. I send my condolences to her family.

Posted by Lynn Baker - TX   September 18, 2009