Ruth Hunt Woodruff
- January 24, 1913 - August 4, 2012
- Columbia, South Carolina
of Ruth's Passing
Share This Obituary
Arrangements made by
Dunbar Funerals and Cremations
Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Mrs. Woodruff was a wonderful person and a wonderful teacher. Mrs. Woodruff was our senior advisor. As our advisor she told me these words of...Read More »
1 of 13 | Posted by: Mary Jennifer Walker - Greer, SC
“Miss Ruth: You and Ben welcomed me and Stuart to St. John's in 1995. We joined and were there for 15 years of christian fellowship.. you meant so...Read More »
2 of 13 | Posted by: Anna S Legare - Columbia, SC
“"Rest! wsd The Lord will wake you later."
3 of 13 | Posted by: Stokes Abercrombie - Prosperity, SC
Your mother was more than a teacher, asst. principal, mother of one our dearest friends, she was "Mrs. Woodruff", a friend who touch...Read More »
4 of 13 | Posted by: Larry and Ellen Grube - Clifton, VA
“Woody, your parents made life at St. John's so sweet for me and my children. Your dad was such a fun-loving guy and your mother was so perceptive and...Read More »
5 of 13 | Posted by: Margaret Anne DuBose - Columbia, SC
“WHEN THE LORD CALLS OUR LOVED ONES HOME, HE LEAVES A GIFT OF MEMORIES IN EXCHANGE. RUTH WILL BE SURELY MISSED, SHE WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL PERSON. MAY...Read More »
6 of 13 | Posted by: JOHN & ALICE KING - COLUMBIA, SC
“Ruth was a very friendly and gracious friend. I got to know both her and Ben when we were on the music committee when my children were in the...Read More »
7 of 13 | Posted by: Margaret Woodrum - Columbia, SC
“I was saddened to learn of Mrs. Woodruff's death. She was a pillar of Dreher High School. I extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to her family.
8 of 13 | Posted by: Sallie Hook Boggs - SC
“Mrs. Woodruff was a lovely and gracious lady and I am sorry to learn of her passing. As a student at Dreher from 1970 to 74 she was always kind,...Read More »
10 of 13 | Posted by: Jim McDowell - Columbia, SC
“Ruth was certainly one of the most beautiful and caring ladies I have ever known. She lived the spirit of a true Southern Belle! What a privilege to...Read More »
11 of 13 | Posted by: Chrystal Danker - Lexington, SC
“I extend my warmest feelings and deepest affection to Mrs. Woodruff's extended family, but especially to her son Ben.
12 of 13 | Posted by: Larry Steven King
“The staff of Dunbar Funeral Home extends our deepest sympathies to the Woodruff family.
13 of 13 | Posted by: Greg Dunbar - Columbia, SC
COLUMBIA - The burial of the Dead, Rite I, will be celebrated for Ruth Hunt Woodruff at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, 2012, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 2827 Wheat Street in Shandon, conducted by the Rev. Fletcher Montgomery, the Rev. Scott Fleischer and the Rev. Johnnie Davis. Interment will follow the service in the Woodruff family plot in Elmwood Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at the Guignard Mansion at Still Hopes. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.
Mrs. Woodruff died peacefully in her sleep early in the morning on Saturday, August 4, 2012, at her residence at Still Hopes, Episcopal Retirement Community, halfway through her 100th year, following a period of declining health.
Born on January 24, 1913 in Eastover, she was the daughter of the late William Miller and Merna Riley Hunt. She began her education at the Eastover Grammar School. However, her mother, feeling that the Eastover of that long ago did not offer her family the educational and cultural opportunities that she wanted for them, moved the family to Columbia. They settled at 3013 Monroe Street in Shandon, which was still in the country at that time. Her father commuted back and forth from Eastover, where he continued his mercantile and farming interests. She attended the old Heathwood School and Columbia High School, from which she graduated in 1929.
An accomplished pianist, she was a student in the studio of Miss Nell Mellichamp. She planned a career as a professional musician, intending to become a professional accompanist. Converse College in Spartanburg was the only college in the state that offered a degree in music at that time. She planned to attend there and then go to New York for further study with pianist and pedagogue Edwin Hughes.
Unfortunately the events of 1929 meant that there was no money to attend a private school like Converse. She managed to get to USC as a day student and majored in English and minored in French. While at Carolina, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and Beaux Arts and served as pianist with the University Orchestra and accompanist in the violin studio of Madame Felice d'Horvath.
After graduating in 1933, she began work on a Master's degree. However, after a year, she felt that she should begin to earn a living and accepted a position as English teacher at Edgefield High School.
Following her marriage in 1936, she put her teaching career on hold since, at that time, married women were not allowed to teach. Following the birth of her two children and time spent in Franklin and Charlotte, N.C., the family moved to Greenville, S.C. in 1943. When her children were old enough, she resumed her teaching career, joining the faculty of Parker High School in Greenville, since the ban on married women teachers had been lifted. Following her return to Columbia in 1953, she joined the faculty of Dreher High School as a mid-year replacement for a teacher whose husband had been transferred.
When the new A.C. Flora High School opened in 1959, the decision was made to take the upper administration positions at Dreher, as well as some faculty members, to staff the new school. The position of principal of Dreher was offered to Mr. Arlie Whittinghill, who had been Dreher's assistant principal and basketball coach. He approached her stating that he would accept the position only if she would agree to become assistant principal. In 1959, she succeeded Miss Grace Sease as assistant principal of Dreher High School, a position she held until her retirement in 1975.
Following her promotion, she returned to USC in the evenings and summers and completed her M.A. in August of 1963. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa scholastic honorary society in 1964.
During her years as assistant principal, she maintained a homeroom, believing that this was the best way to keep her finger on the pulse of the school. She also maintained her much sought after club for senior boys, Bachelors Anonymous. Among her former students are Supreme Court Chief Justice, Jean Toal; former longtime Mayor of Columbia, Bob Coble; former Council members, Frannie Heizer, James Papadea and Hamilton Osbourne; retired Dean of the Moore School of Business, Joel Smith; NBA star, Alex English; USC Opera director, Ellen Schlaeffer; former senior minister of Shandon Presbyterian Church, Dr. Lewis Gallaway; and Dr. Allen M. Weldon, her personal physician.
Following her retirement, she traveled extensively with her husband, visiting Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Mrs. Woodruff was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, where she sang in the choir for 25 years, was a member of St. Mary's Guild of the ECW, served as an advisor and sponsor of EYC and the Altar Guild. She was a member of the teachers' sorority, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Morning Club and the Symphony League of the S.C. Philharmonic.
Survivors include a son, Dr. Benjamin Woodruff Jr.; nieces, Virginia McElveen (Mac) and Patricia Jaffe (Leonard) of Los Angeles, Calif.; nephews, John M. Hunt of Monroe, N.C., Elliott Woodruff of Los Angeles and Tucker Clifford; nephew-in-law, Stanley Gere of Atlanta, Ga.; five great-nieces and a great-nephew; four great-great-nieces and a great-great-nephew; "daughters", Ann Ruderman and Lisa Wilcox; special friends, Mary Law, Virginia Arial, Polly Watts and Francie Markham. She was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Benjamin Wilson Woodruff; a son, William Elliott Woodruff; her beloved niece, Patricia Ann Gere; a brother, William D. Hunt; a sister, Reba H. Clifford; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Frank and Francis Woodruff.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. John's Episcopal Church Building Fund, 2287 Wheat Street, Columbia, SC 29205 or South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, 721 Lady Street, Suite B, Columbia, SC 29201.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of the Guignard Skilled Nursing Unit at Still Hopes and those of Harmony Hospice for the loving