Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay passed from complications of COVID-19 on April 17, 2020 at the age of 74 while at Life Care Nursing Facility. One of her daughters was allowed to be visit while wearing protective gear. Her family sent the memorial below:
Obituary of Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay (November 1, 1945 – April 17, 2020)
Ruth Kathryn Mathews Gay was born in St. Louis, MO on November 1, 1945 to Henry and Ruth Mathews. Family and friends affectionately addressed her as Ruth Kathryn, though she preferred to be called Ruth. Her parents (Henry and Ruth Mathews), husband, Albert W. (Al Sanders) Gay, Jr. and her granddaughter, Jade Aaliyah Valdes preceded her in death.
Her maternal grandmother, Rosebud Turner, made sure she attended the historic Antioch Baptist Church regularly. At the age of ten she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized. Ruth participated in the Children’s Choir, the Girls Auxiliary, and the Baptist Youth Fellowship at the church.
Ruth graduated from Beaumont High School in 1963.She attended the University of Missouri in Columbia and became a civil rights activist. While there she participated in marches and sit-ins. When Ruth left Mizzou, she married her knight in shining amour; Albert Gay, Jr. known professionally as Scoop Sanders on radio station, KXLW in St. Louis. In 1970, their first son, Brandon C. Gay was born. Soon afterwards, Albert’s career took his new family to Baltimore, MD where he became a TV news anchor on Channel 13-WJZ. There they expanded their family with two additional children, Christopher M. Gay and Tisha K. Gay.
In Columbia, MD, Ruth was a devoted homemaker for thirty years. She chauffeured her children and their friends to their various extra-curricular activities ranging from soccer and football to equestrian training. She was a true sports mom. During the 70’s and 80’s, she was active in the PTA and volunteered in classrooms and in the library at Thunder Hill Elementary School. Ruth and Albert enjoyed their life on the east coast. They traveled frequently to New York, Las Vegas, the Bahamas, Philadelphia, and Ocean City, MD. They loved playing bid whist, listening to music, and spending time with their friends. Ruth was an excellent cook and hosted many scrumptious lunches and dinners for family and friends. In her spare time, she bowled with a league and every Thursday for more than ten years she volunteered at the Howard County Center of African American Culture, Inc. founded by the late Mrs. Wylene Burch.
In 1995, after a brief battle with lung cancer, her beloved husband, Albert, passed away. Five years later, Ruth relocated to her birthplace, St. Louis, MO and joined Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church. In 2002, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, yet she continued to travel, play cards with a St. Louis bid whist card club and was welcomed by the Ford School retired friends birthday club. Ruth was always pleasant, displayed a sweet smile and generously shared whatever she had with others. She had a great sense of humor and often left one with a puzzled smile!
Ruth contracted the Coronavirus while at Life Care Nursing facility and transitioned peacefully on April 17, 2020. She leaves a lifetime of fond memories to be treasured by her children, Brandon C. Gay (Angela) of Warren, MI; Christopher Gay of St. Louis, MO; and Tisha Gay of Brandon, FL; her sister, Rosalynde Scott of St. Louis; niece, Dr. Harriette Scott Dudley of Boston, MA; and nephew, William Henry Scott (Colleen) of Dallas, TX; five grandchildren, Xavier Matthew Valdes, twins, Lia and Lauryn Benning, Brandon Stanley Gay, Lucas Michael Gomez, and a host of family and friends.