Mary Elizabeth Ruth Lankford


Mary Elizabeth Ruth Lankford, 79, a resident of Cleveland, passed away early on Saturday morning, May 20, 2023, at her residence.

She was the daughter of the late T.H. Rodgers and Ada Carder Rodgers. Her first husband, Charles Ruth, also preceded her in death, along with her sisters, Helen Davis, Edith Canupp, Gracie Dunn and Frances Rodgers; her brother, Tommy Rodgers; and a grandson, Andy Johnson.

She was a longtime member of Beacon Baptist Church and had also been a longtime member of Philadelphia Baptist Church where she had previously served as the church secretary and was heavily involved in the Baptist Women's Missionary Association, having served as an officer in the association. Mary was the former owner/operator of Wee Care, a daycare that she retired from after 30 years. She was a multi-talented lady as a writer, poet and artist. She loved to draw, paint, sing, crochet and play the accordion.

Survivors include her husband, Jerry Lee Lankford of Cleveland; two sons, Michael Ruth (Teresa) of Old Fort, and Jason Ruth (Kimberly) of Cleveland; one daughter, Wendy Hensley (Roger) of Cleveland; bonus son, Mark Lankford of Ringgold, Georgia; bonus daughter, Michelle Navarro of California; grandchildren, Jessica Davidson (Michael), Andrew Johnson (J.J.), Charlie Ruth (Demetra), Marissa Hamilton (Josh), Samuel Ruth, Autumn Ruth, Jayla Lankford and Hunter Lankford; great-grandchildren, Annabella Ruth, Cooper Davidson, Levi Ruth, Miles Davidson and Sariyah Carter; and several nieces and nephews.

A Remembrance of Life service will be conducted at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Jim Rush Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Wildwood Avenue Chapel, with Pastor Floyd Boggess officiating.

Interment will follow in Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery with Andrew Johnson, Charlie Ruth, Samuel Ruth, Mark Lankford, Michael Davidson and Josh Carter serving as casket bearers.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday from noon until the time of the service at 3 p.m.

Please view the guestbook and leave a message or a memory with the family at



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