TUSCALOOSA - Ruth Yvonne Hartley Strong, age 85, passed away peacefully in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on January 27, 2018, with her son by her side. A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. on February 10, 2018 at Algoma South Cemetery, in Marshall, Texas, with Sullivan Funeral Home in Marshall, Texas, directing .
Born in Marshall, Texas, on December 5, 1932, she was predeceased by her parents, Hansel Harris and Oleta Hartley; her siblings, Joseph Ariel Hartley (Minnie), William Hardy Hartley, Jr. (Mary), Mildred Hartley Owens (Jesse), Reba Anne Hartley Smith (John), Una Faye Hartley Marsh (Doyal); her loving husband of 64 years, Jimmie Royce Strong; and by her daughter LeAnn Strong.
Ruth is survived by her son, James Francis Strong, his wife Dagmar Strong-Wittmann, of Vienna, Virginia; and by her granddaughter Celeste Audrey Strong, currently residing in Tuscaloosa; and by her sister, Dorothy Hartley Morgan (Glenn) of Signal Mountain, Tennessee.
After graduating from Marshall High School and marrying Jim, Ruth lived briefly in Texarkana, Texas, before settling in Longview, Texas, for 12 years where she worked a brief period as a bookkeeper with Kelly Plow Company while he was employed with R.G. LeTourneau. In early 1963, she and her family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where Jim pursued a new career in the sale of forestry equipment. In 1966, the family relocated to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where she and her husband worked collaboratively in the same equipment industry. Following a two-year period of joint ownership of a forestry equipment company in Montgomery, Alabama, together they established their own sole proprietary, Strong Equipment Company, in Northport, which thrived until they sold it in 1981. Ruth always worked long hours and diligently handled all of the company's finances and office management functions, doing her full share to make a success of the family enterprise in which she and Jim each took great professional satisfaction.
Ruth attended First Baptist Church of Longview and later First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. She was widely recognized as a woman of deep and abiding Christian faith throughout her life. One of her favorite holy scriptures was II Corinthians 9:15: "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift." A woman of complete integrity and a dedicated wife and mother, she selflessly sacrificed for her family her entire life. She was an empathetic and humble individual who cared greatly about the well-being of all those around her. Countless friends and family members alike experienced Ruth's exceptional and unsolicited generosity over the years. She will be sorely missed by many. Her hobbies included travel, solving challenging crossword puzzles, continuously improving her impressive vocabulary, listening to classical and Christian music, and watching classic movies.
Ruth was proud that her son and daughter each earned two degrees from the University of Alabama. After obtaining his law degree, Fran led a successful 31-year career as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, living and working overseas for 21 years. Since 2011, he has been employed as a senior consultant with Raytheon Corporation. LeAnn held a series of key positions as an accountant with the College of Education at the University of Alabama, where she was employed for 25 years.
The family wishes to thank Mary Sykes, Dawn Watkins and Ron Wilson for their care and kindness in assisting Ruth in her final years. Our gratitude also extends to the professional and nurturing staff at Forest Manor Rehabilitation Center in Northport and Hospice of West Alabama.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of West Alabama.
Condolences may be offered at www.heritagechapeltuscaloosa.com. and or Sullivan Funeral Home at www.sullivan-funeralhome.com