Ruth Edna Tillett was born on June 8, 1943 to Johnnie Harris, Sr. and Henrietta Butler Harris in Winter Haven, Florida, and she departed this earthly life on Monday, April 25, 2022 at the age of seventy-nine.
Ruth was the eldest of eight children. She was preceded in death by her son James, Jr., her stepdaughter Iris, and her siblings: Johnnie, Jr., Steven, Lois, and Glenda.
Ruth attended and graduated from Rochelle High School of Lakeland, Florida where she was very active in sports. She enjoyed playing softball, volleyball, and skating, and was known as an avid basketball player. She was a member of Rochelle’s High School Girls’ Basketball team where they won many state conferences and championship games.
After attending and studying Education at Gibbs Junior College (St. Petersburg, Florida), she relocated to Brooklyn, New York where she settled and started a family. Shortly after relocating, she became part owner of J & R Car Service. After dissolving the company, she became active in the New York City public school system as a volunteer for many years. It was her love for children that propelled her to start volunteering. After years of dedication as a school aide volunteer at P.S. 92, she became employed as a school aide; shortly thereafter, she was promoted to School Aide Supervisor, and retired in June 2008.
Ruth was extremely loving, and was affectionately called “Love” by her children and grandchildren. In her neighborhood, she was known for end-of-summer block parties where she not only served her family, but anyone and everyone who came to her, regardless of whether they had money to contribute or not. That was the type of generosity Ruth displayed with love. She was a member of St. Anthony Baptist Church, Brooklyn, where she served in the Willing Workers Auxiliary. After her retirement, she enjoyed traveling to her hometown of Lakeland where she enjoyed fishing and gardening for her mother and others from early in the morning to late in the evening with her cousin Gloria who referred to her by her nickname “Caldonya”.
Ruth leaves to mourn and cherish her memory, her three sons: Quentin Harris (Marva) of East Orange, New Jersey, Vincent Tillett (Stephanie), and William Tillett (Patricia) of Brooklyn, New York; her godson Antoine Gordon (Tarsha) of Lakeland, Florida; her siblings: Freddie Harris (Gwendolyn) of Jacksonville, Florida, Anna Causwell (William) of Lakeland, Florida, and Hercules Harris of Rio Rancho, New Mexico; her grandchildren who were her pride and joy: Quentin, Jr., Martin, Jason, Justin, Julito, Gianni, Dolly Love, James, Jr. and Jada; her great-grandchildren: Jae’la, Dakota, Kae’dynce, Madison, Chloe, Kai’yah, Kali and Nova Sky; her goddaughters: Shelia Meade, Estelle Bailey and Helen Ramos; and her longtime friend, Joyce Richardson; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, neighbors and friends.
To send flowers to Ruth's family, please visit our floral store.