Cover photo for Ruth Lee Snowden's Obituary
Ruth Lee Snowden Profile Photo
1934 Ruth 2013

Ruth Lee Snowden

April 27, 1934 — September 18, 2013

…I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care. (In part taken from the ”Nightingale Pledge”) Ruth Lee Snowden was born on April 27, 1934 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She was the tenth child of twelve children born to the union of Irvin and Christeen Dixon Williams. Ruth accepted Christ at a young age. She joined Ebenezer COGIC under the leadership of Superintendent R. L. Williams where she was an active and faithful member for many years. She received her spiritual nourishment and inspiration in the church and learned how to be a servant. Later she united with the First Memorial COGIC Family in Gurdon, Arkansas under the leadership of Elder Chester Mitchell, Sr. Ruth was a fun loving and compassionate young lady. She was a 1952 graduate of Peake High School; she attended Henderson State University and was a graduate of Garland County Communit College in Hpt Springs, Arkansas. Her passion for caring for others led her into the field of nursing. She later moved to Chicago where she worked as a nurse at the Cook County Hospital. In 1976, she and her family moved back to Arkadelphia to help care for her mother. At that time she had been nurse for fourteen years and was hired at Riverwood Nursing Home as an L.P.N. Her compassion and ambition to excel in nursing caught the attention of the administrator Jeannia Bearden, who named Ruth the assistant director of nursing. Ruth was proud of that accomplishment, notably being the first African-American to hold that position. She possessed a strong work ethic having worked a second job as an Emergency Medical Technician; while continuing her studies in pursuit of a registered nurse licensure and maintaining a household. Ruth was a strong woman and always spoke encouraging words to inspire and uplift. She made friends across every race, gender, faith and gave generously to those in need and inspired everyone who crossed her path. She enjoyed cooking, singing and loved flowers; especially caladiums. On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, Ruth departed from this life to be in the presence of the Lord. She was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters, Tassie Anderson, Edith Davis and Mary Wilkerson; and six brothers, Charlie Williams, Henry Williams, Benjamin Williams, Alex Williams, Vaughn Williams and Jack Williams. She leaves her love with her children: Karen (Henry) Block of Prescott, AR, Claudia Turner Smith of Tempe, AZ, Rex Devin (Jane) Turner of Malvern, AR, Eric (Sharon) Turner of Charlotte, NC, Nedra (Paul) Smith Frazier of Portland, OE and Lea (Terrell) Smith of Arkadelphia, AR; fourteen grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; two sisters, Maragrett Shelton of Chicago, IL and Ann Sanders of Arkadelphia, AR; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Tributes to her life will be shared on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church. Rev. Johnny Harris will serve as the celebrant. Interment will be in Helms Cemetery.
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