Ruth Evelyn Hightower Rhodes
September 15, 1925- December 6, 2021
Ruth Evelyn Hightower Rhodes passed away in Waco, Texas, on December 6, 2021. She was 96 years old and was affectionately known as “Mom Ruth” by her Grand and Great-Grandchildren.
A life Celebration will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, December 18, 2021 at The Cammack Family Welch Funeral Home in Longview, Texas with Dr. Ken Hall officiating.
Ruth was born on September 15, 1925, in Limestone County, Texas to Vivian Clayton and Clara Hightower. She was raised and baptized in the Baptist Church. Ruth was the oldest of 4 children. She graduated from Union Grove High School in 1942, in a class of 17 students, and attended Kilgore Junior College in Kilgore, Texas. Ruth worked during WWII for Civil Service at Harmon General Hospital, in Longview, Texas; Camp Fanning in Tyler, Texas; and Barksdale Field in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ruth married Virgil Webster (Jack) Rhodes on February 16, 1947, at First Baptist Church in Union Grove, Texas. After, they began their life together in the retail business. Jack managed Martins in Longview, Texas; they owned and operated Tannebaum’s in Greenville, Texas, and Rhodes in Gladewater, Texas. They were avid followers of the Longview Lobos and the Baylor Bears. She even had season tickets for 30 years. They also loved hosting countless family and friends for every Baylor Homecoming at Old Main Lodge. Jack and Ruth were thrilled to be in the first “Alumni By Choice” at Baylor University. The joke was, “Our parents did nothing apart, except mother going to the beauty shop and daddy going to the barber shop.”
Jack and Ruth were members at First Baptist Longview for 68 years. Ruth taught second grade Sunday School, delivered for Meals on Wheels, and visited Shut-Ins for over 20 years. She was known for her cakes and cookies at all family and church events. She also enjoyed being a Camp Fire leader for both of her girls. Mom Ruth was adored by her 4 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Jack, in 2008; parents, Clara and Vivian Hightower, step-mother, Gladyce Hightower; sister, June Hightower Murray; her brother, Maurice (Bud) Hightower; and her son in law, Bob Oates.
She is survived by her sister, Claedieth Hightower Hewitt of Texarkana, Texas; daughters, Donna Rhodes Oates of Waco, Texas; Lanna Rhodes Palmer (Les) of Waco, Texas; grandchildren, Brandon Oates (Elizabeth); Brittany Hooks (Ryan); Landon Palmer (Ashley); and Logan Palmer (Keri); as well as by her adoring great-grand children, Carter; Clarey; Campbell; Cecelia; and Corbin Oates; Jackson; Weston; Sydney Hooks; and Arthur Palmer.
Ruth deeply loved her family including her nieces and nephews. In fact, her favorite time of the year any were family reunions, family gatherings and family vacations.
Our deepest thanks to Heartis Assisted Living of Waco for the love and attention they showed to our mother. Also, a special thanks to Uni Murphy and her staff at Lake Ridge Healthy Living and Jodi at Bluebonnet Hospice.
Memorials can be made to:
First Baptist Church Longview, Bailey City Camp Fund, 209 E. South St. Longview 75601; Student Foundation Endowed Scholarship, Baylor University, One Bear Place 397050, Waco, Tx 76798-7050 or online at baylor.edu/give. Note the gift is given in memory of Ruth and Jack Rhodes.