Ruthanna Rudolph Wilkinson (1921 - 2017)

Obituary
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  • "Your Mother was a wonderful woman - talented, smart,..."
    - Dale Kalkofen
  • "Anne and Charles......I am very sorry to hear of the..."
    - Cary Wightman
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    - Trina Suesz -Washburn
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    - Nancy Riddlemoser
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A Life in Music

Ruthanna Rudolph Wilkinson, formerly of Hanover, Virginia, died in her daughter's home in Front Royal November 19, 2017 at the age of 96.

Born on September 29, 1921 in Findlay, Ohio, to Charles and Kizzie Rudolph, she was the youngest of their six daughters.

Ruthanna graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, with undergraduate degrees in English and Music Education.

She moved to Richmond, Virginia, after her college mentor, Wendell Sanderson, who had become Director of Music for the Richmond Public Schools, invited her to join his teaching staff.

She soon became the alto soloist for the St. Paul's Episcopal Church choir in Richmond, where she met her future husband Clyde Wilkinson, the choir's baritone soloist.

Ruthanna was dedicated to music and to teaching, and her home was filled with the tools of her craft: oatmeal box drums, recorders, autoharps, xylophones, and the family piano; and with her art ­ music played on any available instrument, and song.

After a hiatus from teaching to raise her family, and meeting the challenge of being an adult student before adult education was in the mainstream, she was awarded her M.A. in Music Education from VCU and returned to teaching music in Richmond's elementary schools.

Along with her husband and several other accomplished musicians, she formed the Mutual Friends of Music, a madrigal group that performed in the Richmond area during the 60's and 70's. Later, she and Clyde were soloists with St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Richmond and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hanover Courthouse.

When she retired from her teaching career, she donated her professional archives, which included decades of research, lesson plans, and songs she had written for her classes, to the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

Ruthanna Wilkinson is predeceased by her parents, her sisters, and her husband.

She is survived by her son, Charles and his wife Sheila of Hendersonville, North Carolina and their son, Aaron and his family of Burlington, Vermont; her daughter, Anne Wilkinson Schloesser, her husband Robert "Bob" and granddaughter Amelia, all of Front Royal; and her daughter, Carolyn âKelliã Wilkinson and her husband John Devison of Louisa County, Virginia.

Memorial services will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hanover Courthouse on Saturday, December 9 at 1 p.m.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in memory of Ruthanna Wilkinson to St. Paul's Episcopal Church Choir, P.O. Box 441, Hanover, VA, 23069.

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Published in Northern Virginia Daily from Nov. 28 to Nov. 29, 2017
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Cremation Society of Virginia - Chantilly
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