Ruth Hare Hamner Yarbrough, 86, of Auburn, formerly of Birmingham, died April 11. Ruth was a strong, gracious, talented, intrepid woman who loved her family fiercely.
Ruth was born in Edgewood. Her childhood summers at her grandmother’s farm in West Alabama and at Camp Coleman near Birmingham shaped a deep love of nature. She spent time as an exchange student in Germany after graduating from Shades Valley High School. After attending Judson College and graduating with a major in art from Florida State University, Ruth fulfilled her childhood dream of drawing greeting cards while working for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. She continued her career in Boston with Russcraft Cards before returning to Birmingham to work for GraphicSouth, the graphic art firm where she met her future husband, Les. She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church for 50 years before joining Auburn United Methodist. She was active in Girl Scouts as a Wayfarer until she moved to Auburn.
Ruth’s unique vision characterized her crafts and her paintings. She found inspiration in pattern, found objects, offbeat vignettes, and her love for all creation. Her fine art was represented in Birmingham by Littlehouse Galleries and Artists Incorporated. Her artwork is found in corporate and private collections throughout the South.
She was equally happy at a fancy luncheon or hiking through the woods. The Girl Scout troop she led earned every art and every camping badge available. She made friends easily with her quick smile and grace. She was always ready for an outing, trip, or get-together. Her family teased her for her “fear of missing out”. She said it was very important to her to write her own obituary. Yet, despite asking for pen and paper to write, she chose to text her friends instead. Her devotion and joyful spirit will be missed.
Ruth is survived by her daughter, Beth Yarbrough and Mary Helen Brown, of Auburn; nieces and nephews, Liz (Johnny) Montgomery, Virginia (Michael) Floyd, Rick (Mary) Yarbrough, Randy (Kerri) Yarbrough, and Michael Yarbrough, all of Birmingham; nephews Lawrence (Rhonda) Cole of Cedar Hill, TX and David (Beth) Cole of Tampa, FL; and numerous great- and great-great-nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Leslie Lamar Yarbrough, her sister Betty Hamner Cole, Betty’s husband Roger, niece Michelle Yarbrough, and her parents Fletcher G. “Jack” and Elizabeth Hare Hamner.
Services will be held Monday, April 25 at 10:00 in Founder’s Chapel at Auburn United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held from 9-10 that same morning. A private service will be held at New Live Oak Cemetery in Selma. The family suggests memorials be made to REACH Alzheimer’s Respite Care, Auburn UMC, 220 Magnolia Avenue, Auburn, AL, 36830; Camp Coleman in care of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, Fund Development, 105 Heatherbrooke Park Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242; or a favorite charity.