Ruth Louisa Gilbert Emrick

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dec. 25, 1919 – Aug. 11, 2011

NATCHEZ — Services for Ruth Louisa Gilbert Emrick, 91, of Natchez, who died peacefully and thankfully Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, at Promise Hospital in Vidalia, will be at 11 a.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Noelle Read officiating.

Burial will follow at “The Gardens” private burial grounds adjacent to the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time Monday in Stratton Chapel at First Presbyterian Church.

Growing up in Natchez, Ruth was active in church youth groups (Stratton Players), enjoyed swimming, hiking, picnics and extensive summer reading. In March 1938, Mrs. Emrick, along with a group of hoop-skirted young ladies and uniformed cadets from Jefferson Military College appeared in one scene of the Historic Natchez Pageant produced by the Natchez Garden Club. The scene was titled “Tea Party at Jefferson Military College” and was staged at Memorial Hall.

She attended Carpenter School No. 1, Natchez Institute, and was a 1938 graduate of old Natchez High School. Ruth was an alumnae of Mississippi State College for Women with a B.A. degree in English. A number of years later she received a master’s degree from Mississippi State University.

Married during the World War II years, Ruth was a civil service secretary on army posts in North Carolina and Virginia, as her husband, served in the U.S. Army.

While residing for a number of years in post-war New York, Mr. Emrick resumed his career in the banking business field. Meantime, Mrs. Emrick was employed with a Madison Avenue advertising company and later with the national office of an eleemosynary organization. A number of years later they returned to Natchez where they raised their family.

For 31 years Ruth served with enthusiastic competence and dedication as a Natchez school librarian. She volunteered as Cub Scout den mother, PTA room mother, Natchez High School band parent and chaperone. Also she was an adjunct instructor (evening classes) in “Literature and Related Media for Children,” a core course for elementary education students. She taught these classes as needed for 15 years, at the Natchez branch of the University of Southern Mississippi. She was also scheduled on some evenings at the medical library of Jeff Davis Memorial Hospital or as night reference librarian at Copiah-Lincoln Community College then located at former Central School. In her spare time Ruth and another professional librarian organized, classified and cataloged the extensive private library in a local antebellum home, over a period for a number of years.

Mrs. Emrick was a member of the Natchez Branch of the American Association of University Women, Phi Delta Kappa, American Library Association, Mississippi Library Association, Historic Natchez Foundation, Natchez Historic Society, American Legion Auxiliary, Order of the First Families of Mississippi and Scottish Heritage Society. She was a longtime member of the Natchez Garden Club, board member of the Natchez Children’s Home, Lydia Circle of Presbyterian Women and Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church.

Ruth was an unpretentious lady of numerous talents and abilities. An accomplished knitter, she learned while at MSCW to “Knit for Britain.” As a self-taught gardener, she freely shared with friends her roses, bulbs, shrubs and trees she rooted and cultivated for her own pleasure. The memory of her energetic personality, strong determination, sense of humor, unlisted good deeds and storytelling competence in numerous areas will be treasured.

Mrs. Emrick was a very special person who is fondly remembered as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and cherished friend. She was the loving mother of Mrs. Susan Ruth Emrick Smith of Venice, Fla.; one son, Fred Gilbert Emrick, M.D., and wife, Mary Sullivan Emrick, of Natchez.

Each of the following enjoyed a special relationship with their beloved grandmother, Jennifer Louisa Smith Pies and husband, Grant, of Lakewood Ranch. Fla., Amanda Melissa Emrick Gates of Asheville, N.C., Fred Gilbert Emrick II and wife, Michelle Blanchard Emrick, of Madison and Charles Hamilton Emrick of Starkville; one great-grandson, Aaron Gilbert Emrick; one great-granddaughter, Kylie McBee Emrick of Madison; and a number of close and distant cousins.

Pallbearers will be Craig Beesley, Dr. Tom Borum, Kinney Carlton, Roy King, Dr. Connell Miller Jr. and Bryant Reed.

Memorials may be sent in Mrs. Emrick’s name to the library of the First Presbyterian Church, 405 State St., Natchez, MS 39120 or to the George Armstrong Library, Natchez, MS 39120.

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