Ruth Grissom, 78, passed away peacefully at her home Jan. 3.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Elizabeth Wood and William (Bill) Lucas; her husband, Jimmy Don Grissom; her brother, Bill Lucas; and her sister, Emma Lucas Kingston.
Born in Russellville Nov. 8, 1941, the second of Liz and Bill’s three children, all born 10 years apart, Ruth became the apple of her big sister Emma’s eye and became like another mother to her baby brother, Bill, when he was born 10 years later. The three Lucas siblings, while not close in age, were exceptionally close to each other and remained best friends all of their lives. A quintessential, yet non-traditional, childhood in the Lucas home made Ruth into the extraordinary woman she was.
Ruth left Russellville only for a short while to attend the University of Alabama after graduating as a member of the Russellville High School Class of 1959. As it turned out, an Auburn boy, Jimmy Don Grissom, was able to lure her back to their hometown. Ruth and Jimmy Don were married in December 1961, and Ruth began fulfilling her true calling as mom to Ginger, Jim and Andrea.
Ruth might have given birth to three children, but she was considered to be a mom by so many. Her welcoming and loving demeanor drew her children’s friends to her as well as so many others throughout the years. No matter where home was for Ruth, her door was always open, the fridge was stocked full, and her heart was willing and ready to take on the cares, concerns and burdens of everyone who entered her life.
After her children were in school, Ruth began a 22-year-long career in human resources with the VF Corporation/Lee Company. Her nurturing nature and ability to converse with anyone made this role perfect for her. Long after she retired, Ruth was still considered a friend by so many former coworkers and their families. Everyone who met Ruth was drawn to her.
Ruth was a lifelong member of the Russellville First United Methodist Church. She was a supporter of the VF Corporation Corporate Olympics, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the FAME Girls’ Ranch and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Ruth also volunteered her time as an election inspector/poll worker and was an avid supporter of the Democratic party and Democratic candidates.
Ruth leaves behind to continue her legacy: daughters Ginger (Kenny) Tyra of Cartersville, Ga., and Andrea (Tim) Sornberger of Spruce Pine and son Jim Grissom of Russellville. She is also survived by and will forever be adored by her grandchildren, Jay Grissom, Jenna Sornberger, Meg Sornberger, Olivia Tyra, Jeremy Tyra and Kendall Tyra Turbyfill.
Ruth is also survived by three great-grandchildren, a host of cherished nieces and nephews and more friends than could ever be counted.
Services will be held at her beloved Russellville First United Methodist Church Tuesday with visitation from noon to 2 p.m. and funeral services at 2 p.m. Officiating will be the Rev. Bo Lloyd. Burial at her family’s plot at Knights of Pythias Cemetery will follow.
Pallbearers will be Don Garrard, Jimmy Byars, Fred Pilgrim, Charles Forman, Ken Craddock, Joe Porter, Buzz McKinney, Zackie Bradford, Andy Wright, Howard Hendrix, Dan Miller and Wade Hagedorn.
While flowers are appreciated, donations may be made in Ruth’s memory to the FAME Girls’ Ranch or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Pinkard Funeral Home, Russellville, is directing.