In Loving Memory of

Ruth Mauldin Harris

 - 

Ruth Mauldin Harris, age 93, of Leesburg, FL and previously of Seneca, SC has died on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville. Ruth was born on August 18, 1925, in Newry, SC to the late Marvin T. and Nelle McGuire Mauldin, of Seneca, SC. Ruth lived her first 17 years  in Oconee County, SC. Afterwards, her education, marriage, and career took her to a variety of places.Ruth received her Registered Nursing Degree from the Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans, LA, and her BSHA, (Bachelors’ of Science, Hospital Administration) from St. Joseph’s College, North Windham, ME. During her career some of her positions included  Operating Room Nurse in Oconee County and at Anderson Memorial Hospital, both in SC, and in the 1950’s in Marietta, GA. She was Staff Nurse on the campus of Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC, in the 1940’s, later taught student nurses in Anderson, SC (1950’s), Charlotte, NC (1961-62), and Jacksonville, FL (1962-63); did Private Duty at Orange Memorial Hospital in Orlando (1963-65) and joined the Head Start Program in Miami with the Dade County Health Department, and worked for Baptist Hospital and was Director of Nursing in Nursing Homes in Miami in the mid and later 1960’s. In the 1970’s as a part of the Alachua County Health Department she received training at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL which changed her career and her personal life. It was then that she received encouragement to continue her education and became a B.S. degree-seeker, achieving that goal through courses at Santa Fe Community College, and finishing with a term in Maine to receive the degree, B.S. in Healthcare Administration. While in Gainesville, she was active at Parkwood Baptist Church, and a member of the Pilot Club. Following this, she worked with Florida State Department of Licensure and Certification in Tallahassee and Jacksonville. She returned to south Florida in the 1980’s where she worked as Director of Nursing and in  Quality Assurance in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Her final work years were spent as a Consultant with companies and their Rules and Regulations Documents to obtain or renew their state licenses; and in Human Resources to assist with the employment of medical personnel for Home Health Care. She was married on September 9, 1949, to William Thomas (Tom) Harris who had a career in the insurance industry, first in Sales in SC, GA, NC, and then received transitional training in Jacksonville, FL, and was employed as a Manager in the Business Offices in Winter Park, FL, and Miami, FL. His last position was with Baptist Hospital’s Business Office until his death from cancer in 1970. Ruth and Tom had one daughter, Sara Elizabeth. Ruth remained a widow. She was an active volunteer from early teenage years within her church community. She was pianist, organist, and soloist for a daily Christian Radio program in Anderson, SC,(1940) pianist at her home church in Seneca, SC (from age 12-17), and taught Sunday School in a variety of churches as her career moved her around. She was part of a church group who took meals to Homestead, FL, following Hurricane Andrew. At Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Margate, FL, (2000-2002), she began an inter-generational Bible Study class with attendees aged 18 to 92, (older than she was at the time). In 2006-2007 she was substitute Sunday School teacher and sang with the JOY (Just Older Youth) Singers in Seneca, SC. At FUMC Boca Raton West Campus, she was a Substitute Sunday School Teacher (2011-14). She loved spending time with her family and friends. She loved to host a Family Dinner for any occasion, or in memory of her adolescent years at home with similar menus and lots of pictures. Her greatest joys, were her two grandsons, Benjamin and Thomas and to spend days with them at Ormond Beach, FL, and on vacations in her beloved Maggie Valley, NC, or Thanksgiving in Davenport, FL were treasured memories; being able to see them graduate from high school, then college, and help plan their Graduation Dinners, as well as later the Rehearsal Dinners for each of their weddings, was very special. She enjoyed spending time with their brides, Jill and Jayne. Her three great-grandsons, she said, were her “heart”, and she felt blessed to live to see each of them enter this world and loved being with all of her “little boys”.  Besides her talent in music she also was a creative seamstress and enjoyed crocheting. She sewed for family and friends. She worked on a project to make crocheted blankets for each of her older grandson’s wife’s nieces and nephews – all 11 of them then. She enjoyed making hats for her granddaughters-in-law last Christmas. She was called, “Queen of Christmas”, by her family and spent hours painting her Christmas Village decor which she took annual delight in arranging. Ruth is preceded in death by her parents; Marvin T. and Nelle (McGuire) Mauldin, brothers; Marvin T. Mauldin II, Charles A. Mauldin and wife Patricia, James Douglas Mauldin and wife Nelma, and Wallace Dean Mauldin, Sr. Ruth is lovingly survived by her daughter, Elizabeth (Libby) Harris Haire, of Leesburg, FL grandson, Benjamin Haire and his wife Jill of Boca Raton, FL and their sons, Aiden & Cooper, grandson, Thomas Haire and his wife Jayne of Land O Lakes, FL and their son Everett. Ruth also leaves behind her sister, Betty M. Crandall, of Central, SC, and sister-in-law, Pat Mauldin, of Aiken, SC, and nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service honoring the life of Ruth, will be held at a later date.


Online Condolences

9 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Haire at · Reply

    Lyrics from the song by Jeff and Sherri Easter, SHE LOVED.

    Someone once asked
    If only you knew
    How short life would be
    What would you do?
    What would they say
    When God called you home?
    What would they engrave
    Once you were gone?

    I hope they would see
    What I’ve done in my life
    Who I’ve cared for
    And how I survived
    I hope they’d say

    She loved more than anything else
    She loved with all of her heart
    She loved everyone she believed in
    She loved… oh she loved

    She loved the Lord
    And served all her life
    A sacrificial mother
    And an honorable wife
    She gave all she had
    And through every trial
    Made life much sweeter
    Because of her smile

    Everyone will see
    What she’s done in her life
    Who she cared for
    And how she survived
    I’m sure they’d say

    She loved more than anything else
    She loved with all of her heart
    She loved everyone she believed in
    She loved… oh she loved

    She loved… everyone she believed in
    She loved. oh she loved
    Oh… she loved

    And we loved her. And we are missing her. But we will see her again.
    -Libby

  2. Lillian Shank at · Reply

    Ruth was one of the most special people I have ever known. She was Baptist and I was Catholic but we became good friends. She was wise and kind as well as very knowledgeable . She thought of others always and then a bit of herself – she was an example of a real Christian. She loved her family and my deepest sympathy to all for this real loss but I know she is watching over each of you with love and prayer. She would often speak to me of her family so I feel like I know each of you. Libby is a special daughter and Ruth’s Obituary is truly remarkable – how well she used her talent and time for Jesus . My love and prayers to each of you.
    Lillian Shank

    1. Libby at · Reply

      Bless you, Lillian, Mom cherished the friendship the two of you had. We will see her again.

  3. Allyn and Butch Hammel at · Reply

    Ruth,
    What a talent you were! You certainly used the gifts that were God given to help and nurture others on this earth. What an amazing woman! We are blessed to have been even a small part of your village since 1966.
    You will be missed by many whose lives you have touched.
    Our hearts and prayers surround Libby and the family who will miss your presence on this earth but know that you are singing with Lord’s choir!
    Love and hugs,
    Allyn and Butch

    1. Libby at · Reply

      And you know she loved you, too.

  4. margaret mauldin at · Reply

    Libby,
    What a wonderful and loving memorial you wrote for your mother, and a beautiful song. I’m so happy and thankful that I got to have a long talk with Ruth on the phone. I wished I had been well enough to come and visit. Ruth was very loving and kind to me to the end. I’ve picked up the phone many times to call you, but I was at a loss for words. Having gone through the same loss so recently, I can say that I know some of the feelings you are having. I love you, and I will see you soon. I pray that God will wrap his loving arms around you and comfort you and give you the strength you need to get through this sorrowful time. I will have you and your family in my prayers. Call me anytime, when you feel ready to talk. Love Margaret

    1. Libby Haire at · Reply

      Thank you. I know we have this in common. Take care.

  5. Carl Cox at · Reply

    Libby,
    Thinking and praying for you and the family. I was amazed to see all the things that Ruth had done, she was an amazing woman.
    Carl Cox

    1. Libby Haire at · Reply

      Thank you.

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