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DANVILLE - Ruth Saint Helena West Mathieson, 98, died Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 in Danville, where she had lived since 2001.
The daughter of Rupert H. West and Elizabeth Sefton Coffin Fuller West, she was born Nov. 3, 1912 in Hampton, where she graduated from Hampton High School in 1932. Mrs. Mathieson grew up in St. John's Episcopal Church until 1963, when she became a founding member of St. Mark's Episcopal Mission, following in the footsteps of her mother, grandmother, aunts and great-aunts, who were founders of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Grace Episcopal Church. At St. Mark's, she became a tireless leader of the Altar Guild, the Episcopal Church Women, the Vestry and the Sunday school. Activities included the American Business Women's Association, the American Red Cross, the Home Demonstration Club and other charities and civic organizations throughout her lifetime. After her husband's death in 1962, Mrs. Mathieson completed Business School and became office manager of L. E. Simmons Contracting Company until she retired.
She was preceded in death by her husband, David Alexander Gray Mathieson; a grandson, Charles David Mathieson; three sisters, Mildred Fuller Druien, Violet W. Simmons and Elsie W. Hahn Collie; and three brothers, Sefton Fuller, James West and Rupert West.
Survivors include her two sons and their wives, David A. G. Jr. and Dorothy T. Mathieson of Decatur, Ga., and The Rev. James W. and Joan O. Mathieson of Danville; five grandchildren, D. A. Gray Mathieson III, Suze M. Bear, J. West Mathieson Jr., Brian E. Mathieson and W. Cooper Mathieson; and five great-grandchildren, Olivia, Alexandra, Daniel, Andrew and John.
The family will receive friends at a reception from 11 to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, in St. Mark's Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 2605 Cunningham Drive, Hampton, after which a funeral service will be conducted at 12:30 with The Rev. Peg Buelow, Rector, officiating. Interment will follow in Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton Section.
Memorial gifts may be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church Altar Guild, P.O. Box 7430, Hampton, VA 23666.
Arrangements by R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, downtown Hampton, 723-3191. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

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Published in Daily Press from Oct. 18 to Oct. 19, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
October 19, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Mathieson family. Ruth and I had many long conversations, both at St Mark's church activities and along the way to Episcopal Church Women meetings. I missed her friendship when she moved to Danville and was glad to be able to visit with her several years ago. She was a lovely, compassionate lady and good friend.
Cephise Overby
October 18, 2011
Sorry to hear about your grandmother West. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Tricia Ellis
October 18, 2011
Sue and Ike were on their way out of town for a much needed vacation when they read about Mrs. Mathieson's passing. Mother's passing really took a toll on Susie and Ike. Those last five years with mother made it difficult for Susie to be ready to give her up. Susie wil get in touch with you when they return from their family vacation. She and Ike just wanted your family to know that they are praying for all of you. What a blessing to have a mother that was almost a centurian BUT was always a loved lady. Pam Garrett Chalkley
October 17, 2011
Mrs. Mathieson was a gracious lady with an inquiring mind and a rich history. She told me of living with her husband and children in the Philippines as WWII intensified, and how they got out just before the early battle at Corregidor. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet her and will miss her lovely smile and engaging conversation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Jan Bellard
October 17, 2011
We extend sympathy to the family of Mrs. Mathieson. We have talked with her many times at Roman Eagle.

Barry & Alice Gourley
College Park Baptist Church
Barry Gourley
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