Ruth was born June 25, 1932, in El Dorado, Kansas, and died February 1, 2020. She was the youngest of the three children of Charles H. and Sarah Bingaman Myers. She was preceded in death by her parents, older sister Rose Mary Barnett, and brother Charles H., Jr.
Survivors include her husband, Carman Grant Wolf, son John and his wife, Brenda, daughter Susan and her husband, Tim Klopfenstein, five grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, and a niece, Pam Ternes.
Ruth was a child of the Depression and lived through the Kansas Dust Bowl days of the early 1930's. Though her family owned the small acreage where they lived, their house was quite small without electricity or central plumbing. Her father was unable to find employment for several years, and they lived off the land and on what work he could find. She could recall picking grapes with her sister and selling them for $1 a bushel to help with the family income. To the end of her life, memories of those hard times impelled her to pick up any coins she saw lying on the ground.
At age 12 she began working summers and weekends as a curb hop at her Aunt and Uncle's Wichita, KS drive in. When they replaced it with a 500-seat family restaurant she continued to work there part-time.
After graduation from high school she went to work full-time at the home office of a Wichita Life Insurance company and part-time at the restaurant. That is where she and Carman met in December of 1949. The restaurant had live organ music, and he was organist. After a long courtship they married June 6, 1954, the tenth anniversary of D-Day. (They celebrated their 40th anniversary in London which, coincidentally, was the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and were part of the crowd during England's observance of that event.)
During their 65+ years of marriage, Ruth and Carman lived in nine states and bought 10 homes. She never complained about moving and beginning life again in a strange city. As Carman says, "She was the perfect picture of a helpmeet" (Genesis 2:18). Carman was active in public life and often "sat at the city gates" with other civic leaders (Proverbs 31:23). He said he could not have done so without Ruth's full support. A flawless housekeeper, she saw to it that their home was well-kept, children's homework done on time, clothes washed and pressed, and getting accomplished whatever needed doing. Their son began mowing neighbor's lawns in his early teens. Whenever rain threatened and he needed help, she was out mowing with him. She loved working in their lawn and trimming hedges, fiercely pursued weeds and dandelions, and tending her fig tree.
Throughout her life she was a worker.• She worked as a secretary to help pay bills while Carman finished his undergraduate degree.
• While he was in the Army overseas, she worked at the Kansas Turnpike to earn enough money to buy them a new car to drive to Boston for Carman's graduate program at Boston University. While there she worked at Beth Israel Hospital so the family's funds would not be depleted.
• After graduate school, she was Carman's secretary in Wichita where he was Executive Director of an organization dedicated to better government. Together, they were instrumental in efforts which resulted in Wichita receiving an All-America City award in 1961.
• While Carman was Director of Communications for the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in Chicago, she painstakingly typed all the manuscripts he edited for their annual Proceedings.
• Though she was quite near-sighted and began wearing glasses at age 12, she was a talented artist, working mostly with pencil and charcoal. She was a natural artist and had an incredible eye for color. Unfortunately, she never received formal art education. Even so, she was known for her many drawings and color pictures of her children, grandchildren, and others. For the 1971 MDRT Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., she provided pen illustrations of Washington landmarks. The originals ended up in the governor's office of the State of Maine.
• During Carman's tenure on faculty at LSU, she taught ESL to the wives of foreign students. Over the years she mentored many women in home Bible studies.
• While Carman was with Christian Business Men's Committee of USA (CBMC) and then the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (FCPO), Ruth spent many hours helping with mass mailings of both organizations. At FCPO she worked tirelessly helping put together their annual John Baker Golf Tournament and New Year's Day chili meal where they fed hundreds of on-duty law enforcement personnel throughout the day.
• When her Parkinson's led to Carman's retirement in 2009, they worked together in putting together the book, "Stories of Faith and Courage from Cops on the Street." She was a tenacious wordsmith and made certain that what Carman wrote was correct both in content and grammar.
• When they moved to their present home 31 years ago, they found it had a fig tree. She knew nothing about figs, but quickly learned. Over the years she's picked scores of baskets which she either sold to the Village Mkt. in Collegedale or gave freely to all who wanted them. Though she had to get up on the roof to glean the highest branches, even at age 87 she was determined not to let any go to waste. She didn't believe in procrastinating. While secretary to the Human Ecology Department at UTC, rather than letting a job wait until the next day, she would push herself to finish it before she left. The department head sometimes complained that she had meant the work to keep Ruth busy the next day, but Ruth wasn't one to let grass grow under her feet.
She enjoyed board games with her children and friends, especially Scrabble. A fierce competitor, the tougher the opponent, the better. "Win, lose, or draw," she always was ready for the next game —and she won more often than she lost.
Most importantly, she knew the Lord, receiving Jesus as her Savior at an early age. Together with Carman she brought up their two children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and was fierce in her determination to follow His word as closely as possible in all matters. She was "honest to the core" and had little patience with assumptions or those who "shaded the truth."
Ruth often lamented she never had done anything of note or great importance. Carman greatly disagreed, pointing her to Proverbs 31: 10-31. He especially felt that verses 29-31 fit her well:
"There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise."
Funeral Services will be held Friday, February 7th , 2020 at 12:30 pm at Grace Baptist Church, 7815 Shallowford Rd., with Dr. Bill Summers, Dr. Steve Euler and Pastor Adam Love officiating. Burial will follow at 2:30 pm at the Chattanooga National Cemetery with Sheriff Jim Hammond speaking.
Ruth’s grandsons will serve as pallbearers including, Brian Dicks, Grant Dicks, Tyler Dicks, Jeremiah Klopfenstein, Benjamin Wolf, and Matthew Houts. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Kurt Chambless, Roger Erickson, Dwight Hurlbut, Mike McDonald, Martin Santos, and John Stuermer.
Visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences to the family and view Mrs. Wolf’s memorial tribute.
The family will receive Thursday February 6th from 5-7 pm at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road and Friday from 11:30 until 12:30 pm at Grace Baptist Church.
To send flowers to Ruth's family, please visit our floral section.