By Scott Buttram
Ruth Reed Ellis, 59, passed away on Dec. 12 after a short illness. The longtime Trussville elementary school teacher had spent more than three decades educating area students, before retiring last year.
“The Paine Primary faculty and staff is deeply saddened by the death of our dear colleague, Ruth Ellis,” Paine Primary Principal Betsy Schmitt said. “Ruth dedicated 35 years to the students of Trussville beginning at Hewitt Elementary in September of 1977 through her retirement from Paine Primary last spring.”
During her long tenure as an educator in Trussville, Ellis literally taught generations of students in the area.
“Ruth impacted so many young lives as a first grade teacher,” Schmitt said. “During her years in Trussville, she taught nearly 700 students to read. Ruth was small but mighty, with a smile that would light up the room. She was a life-long learner who was willing to try new things to help her students grow.”
Schmitt said that it was common for Ellis to be the first to arrive at school each day.
“She was a true early bird,” Schmitt said. “We all depended on Ruth to disarm the building, and on the rare occasion that she was absent from work, the alarm company would inevitably call to tell me that they were getting an entry alarm. My response would be, Ruth must be off today. Ruth was just a fine lady and a good friend. I miss her already.”
Ellis is survived by: her husband, Don; her sister, Helen Pullen (Wes); sisters-in-law Jane Hester (Dave) and Joyce Ellis Wadsworth; brothers-in-law Johnny Ellis, Jimmy Ellis (Sherry); three nieces, five nephews, two great nieces and three great nephews; an aunt, Iva Holloway, and cousin Jack Ollan Holloway.
She was an avid Alabama fan, loved cats and loved to travel with her husband. She was a much loved first grade teacher for 35 ½ years at Paine Primary
. She was preceded in death by her parents, Carlton and Katherine Reed, and in-laws, Chester and Minnie Ellis.
Ellis’ visitation was held Friday, Dec. 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral services were held at Jefferson Memorial at 10 a.m. on Dec. 16. with her burial following at Jefferson Memorial Gardens East. Pastor Gerald Wilson and Elder Louis Culver officiated over the services with Jefferson Memorial Trussville directing.