Cover photo for Ruth Alice Mathes's Obituary
Ruth Alice Mathes Profile Photo
1941 Ruth 2021

Ruth Alice Mathes

August 30, 1941 — May 9, 2021

Ruth Alice Mathes was born on August 30,1944 and passed away May 8,2021 from lung cancer.
Ruth battled cancer not once but twice, surviving multiple myeloma for ten years before developing small lung lung cancer.
A career librarian, she graduated from East Tennessee State with a degree in Library Science and obtained her Master's in Elementary Administration from the University of South Carolina.
Ruth's career took her from Tennessee to South Carolina and then to Anchorage, Alaska where she lived for many years before moving to the Palm Springs area to enjoy her retirement.
Her interests included travel and music - she played the accordion and piano. Her last trip before her diagnosis was to Guatemala.
Ruth also believed in the importance of volunteering. She served on the board of Identity, Inc. for nine years. In addition, she volunteered with the Anchorage Concert Association and also worked as an AA sponsor and volunteer.
She also volunteered for the Discovery Shop for many years, successfully combining her love of shopping with support for cancer treatment. Her talent for interior decoration led her to design many wonderful displays for the shop.
Ruth met Elvis Presley in 1958 while he was traveling by train to Memphis to report to the draft board for Army induction. Ruth and her friends, after some clever detective work, staked out the depot where the train was most likely to stop. Their efforts were successful. She took great joy in describing Elvis' reaction when he stepped out of the train for fresh air and caught sight of them. Elvis shook his head and said "What are you scalawags doing here"? This interaction was documented via a black and white snapshot.
Ruth is survived by her sister and her nieces and nephews

Ruth's remains will be laid to rest in Oak Grove Cemetery in Greenville, Tennessee as well as Kona, Hawaii.

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