Ruth Tatum Duke
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Bobbie Ruth Tatum Duke, 94, died on February 26, 2021, at Senatobia ReHab and Healthcare in Senatobia, MS. She was born on October 23, 1926, in Brownfield, MS, the daughter of John A. Tatum and Lovie Thurmond Tatum.
Moving to Memphis when she was nine years old, Ruth graduated from Whitehaven High School in 1945. Later that year, she married William A. Rigdon and lived in Kentucky for six years. After their divorce in 1951, Ruth moved back to Memphis. In 1954, she married George Duke and was married to him for 50 years until his death in 2004.
Ruth worked at Sears Roebuck & Co. as a secretary for 38 years. She was a longtime member of Whitehaven United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school for over 50 years, served on the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, was a member of the JOY Class, the Women's Society and Library Group. Her many lifelong passions included her family and friends, books, writing, genealogy, politics, sewing, knitting, traveling and Ole Miss football. Quite a storyteller, Ruth was a member of a writing group in her later years. She wrote a book of her life story in "Are You Listening?" so her children, grandchildren and cousins would know more about their family heritage.
Ruth is survived by her two daughters, Patricia Brown (Jim) of Olive Branch, MS; and Gail Rimer (Bob) of Oldsmar, FL; a brother, John A. Tatum, Jr., (Ann) of Schulenburg, TX; a granddaughter, Andrea Hawkins (Stephen) of Ft. Worth, TX; step-granddaughter, Amye Martin (Rex) of Brentwood, TN, and step-grandson, Justin Rimer of Memphis, TN; and six great-grandchildren, Connor Hawkins (Paige), Tate Hawkins and Kara Hawkins, Lila Grace Rimer, Sara Beth Martin and Brayden Martin. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister, Aline Pugh and daughter, Nancy Aline Rigdon.
Funeral service will be at Forest Hill Midtown Funeral Home on Thursday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m. with visitation at 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in Forest Hill Midtown Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Maples Memorial United Methodist Church in Olive Branch, MS.
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