She was a native of Macon County and a lifelong resident of the Cartoogechaye Community. She was the daughter of the late Hezekiah and Hassie Dills. In addition to her parents, she was proceeded in death by her husband Roy Southard; son Raymond Southard; three brothers, Elzia, Clifford, and Gordon Dills and sisters, Beulah Smith, Golda Burch and Sylvia Anderson.
She retired from Angel Hospital in 1985 where she worked as a certified nursing assistant. She was the oldest living member of Cartoogechaye Baptist Church where she was active in the ladies Sunday school class and WMU. She had a love of poetry and wrote many poems over the years. She had a passion for gardening and took special pride in growing flowers.
Ruth is survived by daughter Linda Austin of Columbus, Ohio; two sons Dwight Southard and wife Edna, Tim Southard and wife Ruby, all of Franklin; 7 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren; sister, Annie Stiener of Mount Vernon, Washington; and brother, Hez Dills of Sedro-Woolley, Washington.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, May 16, at Macon Funeral Home, with Revs. Steve Reeves, Jason Smith and Josh Brooks officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. prior to service at Macon Funeral Home.
Chuck Southard, Brian Southard, Johnathan Southard, Dylan Southard, Parker Southard and Doyle Waldroop will serve as pallbearers. Memorials may be made to the Hospice House Foundation, 272 Maple Street, Franklin, NC 28734. Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.