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Dr. Ruth Coffman Garrett

November 9, 2012
The Marietta Times

Ruth Garrett, 89, of Marietta, passed while under Hospice Care at Harmar Place at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday (Nov. 8, 2012).

Ruth Elizabeth Coffman was born July 18, 1923, to Clemens DeWitt Coffman and Mary Lucinda Reid Coffman at 8:40 p.m. in Warren Township, Washington County, Ohio, near Gravel Bank (Riverview). I. J. Johnson was the attending physician.

She attended the one room Tunnel Elementary for all eight grades from 1929-1937.

She attended Marietta High School from 1937 to 1941. She was the author of the class song in 1941 and also the author of the 50th anniversary class song in 1991. She played a leading role in her senior class play "The Late Christopher Bean" at the Hippodrome Theatre Thursday, May 29, 1941. Her high school activities included Olympian Council, Senior Girls Glee Club, Dramatics, Book Club, Orange Masque, Chemistry Club, French Club and National Honor Society.

She attended Ohio University at Athens from 1941-1945, where she majored in speech and dramatic art with a minor in English and social sciences. Her BS degree in 1945 was with high honors. She continued at Ohio University, where she was awarded her master of arts degree Aug. 30, 1946 with a major in speech pathology and speech correction and minor in psychology. While a student at OU, she was a member of Tau Kappa Alpha, National Collegiate Players and Kappa Delta Pi. She served as assistant director of the speech and hearing clinic during the year she was working on her master of arts degree. She later returned to OU, where she earned her pH degree Dec. 14, 1968.

During her youth in the Tunnel community she was very active in the Tunnel Methodist Church and the Tunnel Youth Temperance Council. She served as state president of the YTC in 1945 and 1946. She was the state delegate to the World Christian Youth Conference July 23-31, 1947 at Oslo, Norway. She left New York City July 19 via plane and her itinerary included visits to Denmark, Holland, France and England. By 1953, Ruth had traveled in 15 foreign countries.

Ruth had a special talent for music and gave music lessons to many young people of the Warren Township area. In May and September of 1949, she had received a copyright for her musical compositions "You've Got Me" and "My Guiding Star.".

She was employed by the University of Alabama as an instructor in their Department of Speech from 1946 to 1953. She worked with cerebral palsy children at their clinic, directed the university speech clinic, supervised the course in voice training and taught speech correction and fundamentals of speech.

During the summer of 1950 she was awarded a scholarship for specialized training in cerebral palsy by the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults (Easter Seals). She used this scholarship to attend summer school at Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois.

She became a staff member of the Marshall University Department of Speech at Huntington, W.Va., in 1953, where she spent the next 35 years of her professional career. Her May 1, 1988 retirement reception recognized her 35 years of dedication to the Education of Speech/Language Pathologists at Marshall. She served as president of the West Virginia Speech-Language Hearing Association in 1963 and 1964.

She married March 26, 1955 at the First Methodist Church of Marietta to Wilburn Curtis (John) Garrett. He died July 6, 1970 at age 59 at Huntington, West Virginia. A stepson John William Garrett died July 7, 1996 at Westerville, Ohio age 55. A stepgrandson, John William Garrett Jr., was killed April 14, 1994, age 32, as a result of the friendly fire incident over northern Iraq where he was the pilot of an Army Black Hawk helicopter.

Survivors include the daughters of W.C. (John) Garrett: Mrs. Joyce Carol (Eugene) Edwards of Culloden, West Virginia, Mrs. Jean (Scott) Ramsey of Huntington, West Virginia, and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. John (Linda) William Garrett of Ohio; brothers, Ralph (Dorothy) Coffman, Hugh (Betty) Coffman and sister-in-law Mrs. Robert (Sherry) Coffman, all of Tunnel.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tunnel UM Church Building Fund, 65 Coffman Road, Marietta, Ohio, 45750; or CEF, 1249 Madison Ave, Huntington, W.Va., 25704 or a charity of the donor's choice.

Mrs. Garrett was a member of the Grace Gospel Church, Huntington, West Virginia.

The family would like to thank Hannah's House Assisted Living and Hospice Care at Harmar Place for the care and love they gave to Ruth in the last year of her life.

Funeral services will be held on Monday (Nov. 12) at 11 a.m. at McClure-Schafer-Lankford Funeral Home with the Rev. Richard Thomas officiating. Burial will follow in Tunnel Cemetery. Family will greet friends at the funeral home on Sunday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Messages of sympathy may be sent at



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