October 15, 1922 - January 21, 2023

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Ruth Barkley was among 4% of US women to earn a bachelor’s degree in the mid 1940’s and became a teacher. She was married 3 times and had 3 children. She traveled to all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, S. America and Europe. She was 72 years old when she drove solo across the US because western AZ didn’t agree with her and she wanted to come home to her beloved Brevard County, FL.
Ruth took ballroom dancing classes and danced 3 nights a week when she was in her 60’s. She loved children, dogs, cooking, creating beautiful crafts and was a voracious reader. She drove herself to stores and the library until she was 92 and always had canine-like hearing.
Ruth lived with her eldest daughter, Lana for nearly 20 years until she had to move into an assisted living facility in Merritt Island after a nearly fatal illness, falls and numerous hospitalizations. She survived the pandemic. She drove a mobility scooter around the facility, sometimes recklessly fast. She smoked 4 cigarettes a day and Ruth told her doctor, “Everybody needs at least one vice.”
Ruth was a nonconformist. She was strong, courageous, independent, introverted, creative, manipulative, irreverent, pig-headed, ornery, witty, spirited, sweet, determined, intelligent, pretty and a force to be reckoned with. Some hated her. Those of us who were privileged to get close enough to know her and who appreciate individual uniqueness loved her. Thankfully, Ruth died peacefully at the age of 100 and hers was a life well lived. She asked only that some of her ashes be spread in a special place she designated. Life with her was an amazing wild ride and knowing Ruth, she’s giving heaven some hell.