Ruth E. Davis
November 14, 1936 – July 10, 2018
Loving mother and nana, age 81, passed away peacefully into the waiting arms of Jesus on July 10, 2018.
Ruth is survived by her children, Holly (Chris) Bowne, Mark (Bonnie) Davis, Taia (David) Schreiner, and Tony Davis; her grandchildren, Monique, DeAnna (Josh), Ashleigh, Joshua (Dani), Spencer, Emily, Abigail, Kaci, Valerie and Andrew. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Bruce, her parents, Ellen and Carter Smith, and her brother Bryan Smith.
Ruth was born on November 14, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. She grew up in Brighton, Michigan, graduating as salutatorian of her class from Brighton High School. She earned a full-ride scholarship to Albion College, and graduated with a B.A. in music in 1959. She went on to earn her master’s degree in elementary education from Wayne State University. She spent her career as an elementary school educator in the public school system, first in Detroit and then at Field Elementary School in Canton, Michigan.
Ruth was extremely active throughout her life. She enjoyed hiking, camping, biking, golfing and cross-country skiing. She took classes in martial arts, sailing, ballroom dancing, painting, Spanish, and even tried her hand at her late husband Bruce’s sport of fencing.
Ruth had a great passion for culture and the arts. She was an active member of her local American Association of University Women (AAUW). And whether playing the role of a dangerous pirate alongside Captain Hook in Peter Pan, or a sleepy Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland, she threw herself into her roles, making her children and many audiences laugh.
She ensured her love of the arts was passed on to her children by having them attend and participate in numerous theatrical and dance performances, as well as cultural events. Ruth made it a priority to expose her children to world cultures through exchange student programs that allowed her family to host visiting students from India, China, Japan, and Spain. One of her greatest life experiences was when she and her husband Bruce took a group of elementary school students on a three-week trip to France.
Ruth also passed along her passion for lifelong learning to all of her children. She encouraged them in whatever direction their learning took them, whether writing, business, social work, or computers. Unlike many of her generation, Ruth was excited to master every new piece of technology that came out. Even in retirement, she worked as an online tutor for students in one of the first online education programs through AOL. She pre-purchased an Amazon Echo unit, lovingly called “Alexa,” when they first came out, ultimately feeling it essential to have one in each room of her apartment. Anyone who called or visited was treated to Ruth’s liberal use of Alexa and her many skills. Ruth and Alexa’s discussions and occasional arguments were guaranteed to entertain anyone within the vicinity of their hilarious interactions.
Ruth poured out her love for her family in many ways. One way was through sharing her love of books and reading. Gathering her young children together in the evenings, she would read full unabridged versions of novels and fairytales. She was a woman ahead of her time when it came to cooking, treating her family to vegetarian dishes and East Indian cuisine made with tofu, homemade yogurt, and fresh produce from the family garden.
She was a talented artist. Her sketches and paintings adorning the walls of her childhood home. And a gifted seamstress. The beautifully sewn, crocheted, and knitted clothing and quilts that she made for her children and grandchildren are held as treasured possessions to this day. With her gift of music, her family was often treated to impromptu piano concerts that included pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin. It wasn’t until her children were grown that they learned not every family sang Christmas carols with a skilled piano accompaniment.
Ruth also possessed one of the greenest thumbs on the planet. A trait she regrettably did not pass onto any of her children. All she had to do was look at a plant and it would bloom where it stood. Lush plant life and greenery were always in abundance wherever she lived.
Ruth got so much joy from talking with friends and family. Her easy laughter, strong spirit, and wise counsel will be greatly missed.
We offer special thanks to Comfort Keepers Home Care, Orlando, and Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care for the loving care Ruth received.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care.
Celebration of Life Service
Fellows Creek Golf Club
2936 S. Lotz Rd, Canton, MI 48188
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.