Ruth Amanda Garren Pace, 89, of Hendersonville passed away on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at Pardee Hospital. Her daughter, Debbie, son-in -law, Turner Rouse, and her beloved caregiver, Denise Riley, were by her side.
A native of Etowah and resident of Hendersonville, Ruth was born to the late Henry Judson Garren and Lillie Leona Smathers Garren. She was preceded in death by a sister, Ruby Lee Cox, and brothers, Loyd Cecil Garren, Troy Columbus Garren, Ellis Frank Garren, and Garland Henry Garren.
Ruth met the love of her life, Charles David Pace. The two were married on July 2, 1955. They remained happily married for almost 66 years until Charles’ passing in February of this year.
After graduating from Etowah High School, Ruth worked for Belding Corticelli, General Electric and the Henderson County School System as a kindergarten teacher assistant at East Flat Rock Elementary (1974-1976), Hillandale Elementary (1976-1993), and Upward Elementary (1993-1996).
Ruth Pace was among the county’s first kindergarten teacher assistants. She read to hundreds of students, helped them draw pictures and dried countless tears. She was known to many as “the tooth fairy” because children would only let Mrs. Pace pull their loose teeth. Ruth was like a mother, nurse, counselor and nanny during children’s formative years. She was awarded the Principal’s Award at Hillandale School in 1990 by Virginia Thompson and was inducted into the Henderson County Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008.
Ruth enjoyed her family and friends and entertaining her children’s friends. There was always a seat at her table no matter what time of day or night. The kitchen was always the place to be in the house! Whether it was eating her thinly sliced ham sandwiches, her fried okra or smelling the aromas of her freshly baked desserts, everyone was happy when Ruth was cooking!
After retirement, Ruth enjoyed traveling with Charles and their beloved friends, volunteering at Immaculata School, and working each Christmas for many years at The Bounty of Bethlehem. Ruth and Charles took immense pride in being at Bounty each holiday season from the day they started cleaning the kitchen until Christmas Day when they served meals to thousands of local residents.
She enjoyed watching her grandchildren play sports at Hendersonville High School and was the adopted grandmother of the HHS Tennis Teams while both of her grandchildren were in high school. She never missed an opportunity to attend a dance recital, band concert or a performance at the Flat Rock Playhouse.
Left to cherish Ruth’s memory are her daughter, Deborah Pace Rouse and her husband, Turner Morrison Rouse, Sr. of Flat Rock; her son, Steven Charles Pace of Etowah; grandchildren, Mary Elizabeth Rouse Rankin and her husband, Claude Squires Rankin, Jr., of London, England; Turner Morrison Rouse, Jr. and his fiancée, Hannah Richter, of New York, NY; and great-grandchildren, Jack Belo Rankin and Charles Squires Rankin, also of London, England. Ruth is also survived by a sister, Mary Mae Garren of Etowah and many sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Henderson County Education Foundation, 414 4th Avenue West, Hendersonville, N.C. 28739 or The Pardee Hospital Foundation for the Pardee Cancer Center, 561 Fleming Street, Hendersonville, NC 28739.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Four Seasons Palliative Care, Pardee Hospital ER, MSO Staffs, Dr. Andrew Crocker, Dr. Joel Callahan, David Fluech, PA-C, Dr. Allan Huffman, Dr. Ron Moffitt and staff, and Henderson County Emergency Management Services. Special thanks to her wonderful and loving caregivers, Denise Riley, Stephanie Watts, Mary Vieira, Mary Spanton, Becky Fisher, Tina Connor, and Tekoa Youngblood.
A Memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville. A graveside committal will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 538 Tracy Grove Road, Hendersonville. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family requests that you wear a mask while attending the services.