October 22, 1930 – December 14, 2018
Reflection of Life
Ruth Smith was called home to rest by her Heavenly Father on Friday, December 14, 2018. Born in Summit, Georgia on October 22, 1930, to the late James Smith and Mollie Culbreth, she was the youngest of eight children.
Ruth went to school in Elizabeth, New Jersey and graduated from Battin High School in 1947. Thereafter, she attended Helene Fuld College of Nursing in New York City where she received her Licensed Practical Nurse degree.
In 1952 she married her childhood sweetheart, James L. Rouse Jr. (deceased) and from that union they were blessed with two sons. Ruth was beautiful, graceful, and a devoted wife and mother.
Ruth and her family moved from NJ to Germany to accompany her husband as he served in the United States Army. Upon her husband’s retirement from the Army in 1967, the family moved back to her hometown of Elizabeth, NJ and later moved to Trenton, NJ.
In early 1980 Ruth received her Registered Nurse degree from St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing. Thereafter, she worked at several hospitals and medical facilities in NJ including, St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center, and Princeton Medical Center. After having lost several of her siblings from complications of diabetes, Ruth became very interested in the impact of diabetes in the African American community. Fueled by this passion, in 1989, she earned her Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) credentials from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Thereafter, she became a Diabetes Educator at the Henry J. Austin Healthcare Center where she was responsible for teaching diabetes awareness and management throughout the state of NJ. She was instrumental in working with the ADA to establish the Cultural Diversity Outreach Community (C-DOC) program to reach the minority population. Ruth was the first Chairperson for ADA’s C-DOC program in the entire United States. The ADA C-DOC initiative provided diabetes education to minorities, and through Ruth’s tireless efforts was the catalyst for establishing diabetes support groups in approximately 13 churches in NJ. This program continues to this day, and Ruth is recognized as being a major contributor to this important initiative. She also helped author a diabetes cookbook.
At an early age Ruth accepted Christ into her life, and while in NJ she was a devoted member of Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church in Trenton. While at Mt Zion she was a Stewardess and served as President of the Nurses Unit. Upon moving to Maryland, she became a faithful member of Union bethel A.M.E church in Brandywine, MD where she served on the Stewardess Ministry and Wellness Ministry.
After spending most of her life in NJ. Ruth and her husband moved to Cheltenham, MD in 1995. Ruth had a good life with treasured memories. She was well known for her caring ways and beautiful smile. Her greatest pleasure was gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Ruth leaves a legacy of good deeds and good works. She will be greatly missed and remembered by all who loved her dearly.
Predeceased by her loving husband, she departed this life at Green Haven Assisted Living in Bowie, MD after a long illness.
To Cherish her memory, she leaves two loving sons, Dr. Stephen Michael Rouse, and Lawrence Keith Rouse; daughter-in-law, Robin Dixon; grandson Evan Michael Rouse; granddaughter Aleesha Rouse; fiancée of her son Lawrence, Toi Bowman-Johnson; and a host of other relatives and friends.