|Birth: ||Jan. 15, 1923|
South Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 22, 2012|
New York, USA
Graveside Eulogy for Ruth Glascoe Davis, October 6, 2012
by Rev. Lee Gray, St. John's Bapt. Church, Charlotte, NC
We are gathered here this afternoon to remember and honor the life of Ruth Davis. Ruth lived a long, full life of 89 years and she passed on many good memories to her friends and family. And so today we celebrate her life even as observe her passing on to the next life. Ruth is no longer with us and so there is some mourning, a sense of final loss. For it is only right to mourn the loss of someone you loved, someone who meant something to you. Yet we do not mourn as those who have no hope. Our hope is in the eternal God who gives all of us our lives and leads us into the next one. And our hope is the sustaining God who strengthens and guides us as we live, even as He did for Ruth.
Let us hear the word of the Lord as it comes to us from the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 23…
May we now pray together.
Lord of love and life, be with us today as we recall and honor the life of Ruth Davis. Even if it is with a tinge of sadness, let us celebrate a life well lived. Let us celebrate the ways in which she blessed the lives of those around her. And let us celebrate that we serve you, a God who brings us into being, who walks with us for all of our days, and a God who calls us home to you when our days on this earth done. Our time on this earth is mixed with joy and sadness, success and failure, and hardships and blessings, and yet if we live it with you as our God it is all a blessing, teaching us about you and your character, and mainly, teaching us how to be loving in all circumstances. Be with us here today, and take each a little farther down that road of knowing more fullness of love in our living as we look at the life of Ruth Davis. Amen.
I'd like to thank Susie and Daniel for their sharing with me about their mother and grandmother. Daniel and I had a nice lunch this week and an opportunity to catch up with one another. During that lunch he showed me two of the best scrapbooks, if it is right to call them that, that I have ever seen. As I understand it, Daniel didn't know that much about the Davis side of the family and asked about it, so then Ruth and Susie spent time in the last two years putting them together. And that led to some of the best times that Susan and Ruth ever spent together. It a blessing to them both, that goes far beyond the scrapbooks, as beautiful as they are. Yet the scrapbooks are symbolic of Ruth – she liked to pass on good things to others, and this is one of the ways that she has done so.
I'd like to mention two people who could not be here today. The first is Daniel's mother, Susan's sister, and Ruth's daughter, Kathryn. One of my early memories of being a minister at St. John's was visiting Daniel as Kathy gracefully fought her battle with cancer. I don't know how we experience things in the afterlife, but I am sure, in some way, that she is pleased that the family is gathered here today honoring her mother. The other person I would mention is Ruth's lifelong friend "Smitty" Gregory. Smitty passed away last year, but she and Ruth or "Pete" as Smitty called her were lifelong friends since 1st grade. They stayed close all through school, shared vacations, were in each other's weddings, attended reunions together, and stayed connected to one another until Smitty passed on last year. They talked often and Smitty ended every phone call, and signed every card to Ruth with "I love you Pete." And almost 70 years ago, Ruth introduced another friend, Bill, to Smitty, telling him "I know a real good girl I think you'd like." And Ruth was right. Smitty and Bill were happily married and devoted to each other for 66 years. Smitty and Bill, or "Spitty and Bull" as Kathy called them as a young child, were always a part of the family. I am told that Bill really wanted to be here today. He told Susan how much that "Pete" meant to them both he and Smitty. And Susan told him, "I know. I've known that all of my life." What a blessing it is to have friends like that.
One person that hasn't been mentioned yet, is Wofford Davis, affectionately called "Bud." But we will get to him. You need to know how they met first. Ruth grew up in Greenville, SC and graduated high school at 17. Upon her graduation in 1939 she went to work at the First National Bank and helped to support her family during World War II. She soon became the first female teller ever for the First National Bank. And it was from her teller window that she caught the eye of a young Wofford "Bud" Davis. Ruth or "Pete" told the story like this – "I was a teller at First National Bank on Main Street in Greenville when Wofford and I met in 1944. He told me about coming in the bank for the first time and seeing me. He got in my teller line and waited a long time for me to wait on him. I don't remember seeing him, but he told me he went home that night and told his mother and sister that he had seen the woman that he was going to marry. When his mother asked him how he was going to meet me he said, ‘I guess I'll have to get a job at the bank.' Well, I got the flu and was out of work for several weeks. When I came back, one of the girls told me we had a new boy and he was real cute. It turned out to be Wofford. He had quit Dun and Bradstreet and applied at the bank. He didn't tell me at first that he got the job just to meet me, but when he introduced himself he did say, ‘I have a hard first name and I want you to remember me, so just call me Bud.'
Well, I think that Ruth remembered Bud. In less than 6 months they were married. But while they were dating Bud would slip her notes at the bank saying things like "I love you 24 hours more than I did yesterday. Ruth saved those notes for over 65 years and they are in the albums she and Susan put together now. After a few years Ruth and Bud moved to Charlotte with Susan and Kathy in 1958. Ruth then went to work at the North Carolina National Bank, where she worked until she retired in 1984. Ruth remained in Charlotte until 2000 when for health reasons, she went to live with Susan in Rocky Mount. It was during her time in Charlotte that she faithfully attended St. John's Baptist. Ruth also continued to get the St. John's Family News when she moved to Rocky Mount. It was also during her time in Charlotte that she lost Bud, but they did get to spend 33 wonderful years of marriage together.
In addition to Ruth's professional life and her love life, something ought to be said about her personal life. As a young girl of 7, she would make doll figurines and then go down the street selling them for 10 cents each. At 8 she was able to sing on a radio broadcast. And in high school she was a singer in the glee club. Aside from singing Ruth was a vivid storyteller, evidenced by her account of meeting Wofford. She also liked classical music and she loved to paint. She painted over 100 pictures. She appreciated the beauty of nature and often painted landscapes. However, she knew that Daniel liked Elvis, so she painted Daniel a picture of Elvis. Ruth paid attention to details in the lives of others and enjoyed making them happy.
Ruth was a Southern girl, so when she with Susan up to New York, so Susan could be with Mark, it was like going to a foreign country for her. Yet as difficult as that must have been for Ruth, she never let Susan know it. Ruth kept her sweet nature no matter what. And although Ruth was not in the best of health she kept her sense of humor. When talking to the therapist in charge of helping her regain her strength, she'd always smile and promise to work hard. But when the therapist would leave, she'd look at Susan and in all seriousness, "How can I get out of those exercises?" Well she doesn't have to do her exercises now. She is at peace. Ruth has gone to be with the living God. Yet it is fitting that her ashes come back to Charlotte for burial. She and Bud spent many of their best years in a house off Monroe Road not too far from Sharon. So, even as her soul has gone home to God, what remains of her physical body have come home to Charlotte.
From Ecclesiastes the third chapter…(verses 1-8)
The time has come to commit Ruth's ashes to the grave. They are what remain of her physical body. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That which is perishable we return to the earth. Yet that which is imperishable returns to our Eternal Father. And so it is with Ruth. She has gone to be with our Eternal Father and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hear these words of Jesus to his disciples and he tells them of his impending departure. From the 14th chapter of John… (verses 1-3,18, 27)
And The Word of the Lord from the Revelation to John chapter 21…(verses 1-7)
Let us give thanks that we serve a God of resurrection power and let us give thanks for the life of Ruth Davis - one who brought joy to many and knew how to love deeply.
Let us Pray…Thank you Lord for the life of Ruth Davis. And thank you for the lives she touched. As we look at her life may we look at our own, being reminded that what ultimately matters in our living is how deeply we love. Life is not about things but about relationships. May we learn the lesson from Ruth about the value of deep relationships. Be with her family in the days to come. Bless them with her memory and bless them with your peace – a peace that transcends all losses and circumstances. Thank you for your abiding presence today and beyond. AMEN
Fred Cleetus Glascoe (1898 - 1966)
Nettie Ostelle Graves Glascoe (1899 - 1982)
Wofford Fletcher Davis (1918 - 1978)
Kathryn Ann Davis Wilson (1949 - 1999)*
Sharon Memorial Park
North Carolina, USA
Plot: sec 21 lot 340 space 4
Created by: Susan Davis Passaro
Record added: Oct 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99306034
My sweet Mama, I love and will miss you always. Rest and know peace and joy with Kathy and Daddy.|
Susan Davis Passaro
Added: Oct. 22, 2012