Ruth Berry Dunaway


On Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, Ruth Berry Dunaway passed away peacefully at the age of 89 surrounded by loved ones.

She was preceded in death by her husband, H.F. Speck Dunaway; and son-in-law, Gary Mullins.

She is survived by her daughters: Karen Mullins and Tami Traczek, Dan Traczek; grandchildren: Curt, Michael, Tyler and Seth; great-grandchild, Alayna; sister-in-law, Shirley Stevens; family friend, Brenda Bowker; and many nieces and nephews.

She was born on February 28, 1931, in Bogalusa, La., to Peter Charles and Birdie Mae Potts Berry. The youngest of her three siblings: Charles (Lynn) Berry, Bob (Betty) Berry and Jack (Betty) Berry, Ruth became a natural caregiver at an early age and an exceptional cook.

As a young mother, Ruth worked at Cleveland National Bank and was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for her daughters. She brought her Louisiana culture to Tennessee along with well-known Cajun dishes like po’boys and seafood gumbo.

She was a member of the Beta Signa Phi social and service sorority, where she served as president in 1971; a member of the Red Shoes social club for women; and she was active in her church social events.

Ruth was selfless and kind; she was the ultimate host and entertainer. She was a loving wife to her husband of more than 63 years. They were faithful members of St. Luke’s church in Cleveland. Ruth lost a part of herself when Speck passed away in 2012; the two are now reunited forever.

A private service will be held at St. Luke’s church.


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