Woodson, Ruby Garrard June 22, 1931 - Feb. 8, 2008
Ruby Garrard Woodson, Sarasota, born in Houston County, Ala., died Feb. 8, 2008. Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Greater Hurst Chapel AME Church. Burial will be at Hinson Cemetery in Graceville. Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Mrs. Ruby G. Woodson, a lifelong advocate for education, youth and African-American culture, died Feb. 8, 2008, of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage. Born in Houston County, Ala., she was a valedictorian graduate of Sarasota's Booker High School. She went on to earn a B.S. degree in chemistry from Florida A&M University. She moved to Washington, D.C., earned a master's degree at American University, and embarked on a career as a teacher, in which capacity she served within the D.C. Public Schools for 13 years. In 1972 she left D.C.P.S. to found Cromwell Academy, a private high school for gifted students. In the early years of Cromwell's existence, the majority of the students' tuitions were heavily subsidized by scholarship awards, funded primarily from her own savings. This extraordinary institution saw its graduates go on to earn baccalaureates and advanced degrees from prestigious institutions such as Yale, Columbia, Vassar, Smith and Mount Holyoke. Upon her "retirement" and return to her Sarasota home, Mrs. Woodson's passion for service was initially realized through board memberships at the Asolo Center for the Performing Arts, Habitat for Humanity and the Sarasota County Library Advisory Board. Coming full circle to her roots as an educator, she went on to found the Florida Academy for African American Culture. This cultural research center and library has hosted oratory contests for local high school students and essay contests for grade schoolers, and donated several thousands of books to school-age children in the community. Mrs. Woodson, a product of Sarasota's Newtown community, has had her achievements chronicled in The Washington Post and the Herald-Tribune and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as well as by the United Way of Sarasota County, which named her one of 12 "Women of Community Impact." Preceded in death by her mother, Ella Mae Garrard Singleton, and her father, David Garrard, she leaves behind a son, William G. Woodson of Minneapolis; a sister, Eudonis G. Sloan of Sarasota; and two grandchildren. A memorial service has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at Greater Hurst Chapel AME Church, 2730 N. Links Ave., Sarasota.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
On behalf of my late mother's sister and extended family, I would like to thank all who have shared a kind word, offered a note of sympathy, sent flowers, or reached out to offer a donation to a charitable cause in my mother's honor. Your loving thoughtfulness has been noted and is very much appreciated.
- Bill Woodson, on behalf of Eudonis Sloan and the family of Ruby Woodson
March 3, 2008
I met Mrs. Woodson when my son, Porter Lee Anderson III, entered an oratorical contest that she sponsored. I will always remember her for the integrity she showed in making sure that he received the scholarship funds he was promised as the second place winner in that contest. I mention it in that way because he was only a high school freshman when he won and did not enter college until three years later. Some people might have conveniently "forgot" but Mrs. Woodson and I stayed in touch during those years and she even called back in 2006 after reviewing her records to double check that my son had received the funds. Her passion for children and education will be missed.
Lauretta Romer Anderson
February 18, 2008
My compassion and sympathy go out to the family. You are in my prayers. Ruby was a kind and loving friend to me and a continual inspiration. She always encouraged me from the day we met when I was a teenager and I was always grateful for that.
February 17, 2008
The parish community of St. Martha extends its sympathies to the family of Ruby Woodson.
Ruby Woodson lived the words of Jesus as found in Luke 10: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
She indeed loved and served "the neighbor" throughout her life.
May the angels come to greet her in paradise !
The clergy and parishioners of St. Martha, Sarasota, Florida.
Fr. Patrick Wilson
February 16, 2008
To the family of Ruby Garrard Woodson,
I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Ruby. She and I were at FAMC together and shared many wonderful times.
I pray that God will be with you during this time. My prayers are with you.
Inell Snelling Hughes
February 14, 2008
To the Woodson Family, I am saddened to learn of the passing of my college classmate Ruby. We had some great times at FAMC. She will be missed.
I know that God will sustain you and yours during this your time of sorrow. I will keep the family in prayer.
Dolores C. Leffall
February 14, 2008
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help at this time.
Norma Jean Hodges
February 14, 2008
A phenomenal woman who leaves such wonderful memories for so many individuals. I share your sorrows.
February 13, 2008
May the peace of GOD encompass and sustain you at this difficult time. Ruby was a great friend to me and I will miss our conversations about the old days and current events. I will miss most of all sharing the accomplishments of our children and her grands.
You are in my prayers.
Sheila Sanders Mills
February 13, 2008
Ruby was a wonderful and talented neighbor. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.