Ruth Ann Thomas
October 9, 1968 - September 8, 2021
Ruth Ann was born in Antioch, Illinois where she spent the first 12 years of her life. She and her two siblings, Raquel and Ronnie were loved and raised by her incredible mother, Bobbi, and her extended family of cousins, grandmother and friends. Swimming, playing with cousins and picking berries with her Scandinavian grandma Sunny were her best childhood memories. At 12, Ruth was adopted by an amazing man, who would become her new father, Rich Erhart, who embraced her and the rest of her family and led them to Colorado, where her youngest brother Jeremy was born. Ruth fell in love with the snow, mountains and cross-country skiing. After high school her journey led her to a short career in the Air Force as an avionics instrument specialist where she met her first husband, Brian and settled in Georgia. They welcomed Haley into the world and not long after, she remarried the love of her life, Rob. Together for 22 years, they brought 2 more incredible children into the world, Lola and Henry. Ruth found her calling as an English and literature teacher and dedicated herself to the students of McEachern High School. Over the course of her career, she taught thousands of students-not just about English and literature-but also about life and art.
Before passing, Ruth forged a 52 year trail of laughter, wisdom and unexpected acts of kindness. She shared a birthday with John Lennon, and wore that fact as a badge of honor, as if the two were somehow spiritually connected. She loved tattoos, music, fast cars, hiking, reading and gardening. She collected books of poetry, and would look at a recipe and turn it into her own. She loved taking care of others. She had many books about "How to Live a Good Life" and "How to Love," but the truth is, she could have written them herself.
Ruth had a unique way of looking straight into someone's soul and seeing their potential. She gravitated towards the mischief-makers and brought out their very best. She stayed in touch with all of her students, intertwining her heart into their lives. She loved words....especially if they were in Spanish, and could quote at the drop of a hat, some of the most profound writers to ever live. She would reread One Hundred Years of Solitude every year, because she loved Marquez' magical realism, and that's the kind of world she created with her students... one full of imagery and possibility. She knew that her students may not remember every sonnet she ever taught, but that they would remember the way she made them dig into the deepest part of themselves and learn to write their own truth.
Ruth spoke, loved and lived with passion and her spirit will live on with those she has touched forever.
A poem by her mother, Bobbi Erhart:
As I run through the dunes to reach the shoreline, my mind travels across the glistening water. The waves come crashing in charged with energy. I strip off my clothes to be carried by the riptide and buoyed by the salty water. I want the rushing water to cleanse me of my troubles and wash them away. I have a kinship with the environment and feel playful, vulnerable, yet free as the water embraces my flesh. Please carry me out as I have been swimming upstream in the current of life's challenges.
Then the ocean turns itself around. That peaceful moment of psychic sleep. The strong, silent stillness of the Ebb Tide interrupts the world's problems I carry on my shoulders. I realize my emotions are exaggerated as I gaze at the ocean and its incredible vastness.
When the tide goes out the shoreline exposes all the little treasures Mother Nature painted on the canvas of the beach. Starfish, Sand Dollars, and Sharks teeth. My favorite is the rocks with holes in them from years of abuse on the dark ocean floor only to see them shining in the light on the beach.
Life is like the tiny grains of sand in the hour glass struggling to get through to the other side. When they are free they slip through your fingers for angel wings to sprinkle them back into the ocean.
Clark Funeral Home in Hiram, GA, is honored to care for the family during this difficult time. Condolences may be left for the family on the tribute wall of our website, www.samclarkfuneralhome.com.