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Obituary: Ruth B. Ellis, attended Antioch College

Ruth Ballinger Ellis, devoted and loving mother and grandmother, died of natural causes on Saturday, December 1, 2012, while peacefully napping at her home. She was the widow of Atlanta writer and broadcaster, Elmo Ellis. Mrs. Ellis was 94.

Born in Alvarado, Texas, Ruthie, as she was known by her family and friends, endured the Great Depression as the fifth of six children. Always proud of her Texas heritage, it was in Fort Worth where she met her future husband. He was a young US Army Air Corps captain, she a budding fashion model.

After marriage, the couple was first stationed in Ohio where Ruth attended Antioch College and Elmo produced armed forces radio programs. Following WWII, they moved to New York where she was a model for the department stores, Bonwit Teller and Stern's and he furthered his broadcasting career. The newlyweds eventually settled in Atlanta where Ruth raised her family and resided until her passing.

Known for her charming sense of humor and beautiful smile, Ruth was a woman of many talents. Her late husband called her the lady with the golden hands. She was a skilled seamstress and tailor who made beautiful clothing for her family. She designed and sewed home furnishings, school and ballet costumes, dog kennel covers, and lots of doll clothes. She was an excellent homemaker and decorator as well as an outstanding cook, although she laughed about her favorite meal which was cornbread crumbled in buttermilk; it reminded her of her poor childhood.

Ruth was an animal lover, offering a kind, gentle rub for all furry critters that came her way. Her house was a showcase of flourishing green plants, a testament to Ruth's green thumb. She was especially proud of her African violets. She seemed to have an instinctive feel for keeping them happy and healthy, and so it was too with Ruth's primary devotion in life, which was her family. She was a dependable, intuitive and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt. Ruth enjoyed 60 happily married years with her late husband.

Mrs. Ellis is survived by daughter, Janet Beerman (Bruce); son, Bryan Ellis (Judi); grandchildren, Brad Beerman, Connor Honea, and Cason Honea. The family wishes to thank Mrs. Ellis's dedicated caregivers, Christine Munano, Lucy Kagia, Rosemary Rocky, Rebecca Muriithi, and Philomena Kimanzi. An online guestbook is available at In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution in Mrs. Ellis's name to any of these charities: Southern
Souls Rescue, Harlem, Ga. (; Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University (; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (

Private burial was conducted on Monday, December 3, 2012. Arrangements by Dressler's Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999