Ruth Wheeler Muerth, of Signal Mountain, passed away quietly at Life Care of Red Bank, March 19, 2022. Ruth was born in LayFayette, Georgia, on August 31, 1921. She was the younger daughter of Ulric Rapp Wheeler and Pearl Loughridge Wheeler, each from prominent families whose members have provided much respected leadership for their LaFayette Community. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and her five brothers: Russell W. Wheeler, Ulric R. Wheeler, John L. Wheeler, Cecil S. Wheeler and Andrew F. Wheeler, all of Chattanooga, as well as her sister Mary Elizabeth Hyde of Dallas, TX.
Ruth was also preceded in death by her high school sweetheart and loving husband of forty-four years, Albert Martin Muerth, affectionately well known as “Red”. Red was also a Chattanoogan and Atlantan star-athlete. In his Central High School football days, he was “All-City” and “All-State”. In his early college years at Georgia Tech he was named “Honorable Mention-All American” before joining the U.S. Army to serve in World War II. Red later graduated from Georgia Tech and became manager of Tubular Products at Combustion Engineering.
Formally educated in Chattanooga, Ruth graduated from Central High School and McKenzie School of Business. While attending Central, she was distinctly honored by popular vote of her school mates when elected May Queen in 1938. Her future husband Red was elected to be May King. Her senior year in 1939, Ruth was elected Miss Central. Ruth later became a finalist in an American Beauty contest in which the Actor Ray Milland was judge.
During her youth, Ruth was a member of St. Andrews Methodist church. After her marriage and move to Signal Mountain, Ruth and her husband Red enjoyed loyal memberships in the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church for the remainder of their lives.
Ruth’s very interesting vocational career spanned thirty five successful years with the Tennessee Valley Authority from where she retired as the Staff Assistant to the Manager of Power. This position title was created for her by James E. Watson and the TVA Knoxville Administration.
After the passing of her husband Red in 1986, Ruth moved temporarily to their condominium home in Naples Florida. She joined Downing-Frye Reality, Inc. for several years before returning to live in her home on Signal Mountain.
Although she was an avid business woman, “a lady pioneer”, most of her adult life, Ruth was also very devoted to her family and many friends. She was a current member of the LaFayette William Marsh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Ruth also enjoyed many hobbies. Her interest in travel was expressed through becoming a part-time travel agent. She became a self-taught artist during a time in which she painted several beautiful oil paintings. She and her daughter Cherie held a Design Trademark together for their small company Glitterbugs, Inc., a clothing and jewelry business they created.
Ruth is survived by her loving daughter Cherie Anne Muerth who now lives on Signal Mountain and is retired from the Walker County Schools. She served as Professional School Social Worker in the LaFayette, GA area for thirty years. She was additionally employed in education and social work for several years prior at Team Evaluation Center and Family and Children’s Services of Chattanooga.
Ruth is also survived by eight nieces and nephews: Jayne Bomberg, Marilyn Muerth, Suzi Muerth, Jennifer Ripley, Jan Weingart, George Hyde, Thomas Hyde, Phil Wheeler and their families. Ruth is additionally survived by her loving caregivers of five years: Joyce Carpenter, Trish Grant and Connie Wooten. She was preceded in death by four nieces and seven nephews.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am, Thursday, March 24, 2022 at Forest Hills Cemetery, due to the current contagion of the Covid-19 virus.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Good Samaritan Fund of her church or to individually chosen charities are sincerely appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415 www.lanefh.com 423-877-3524
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