Central Alumna Ruth DeSha Ramsey Celebrates 100


Donated to the Digest

RUTH RAMSEY CELEBRATES 100 — Alumna Ruth Ramsey celebrates her 100th birthday.

Sarah Katheron Latham, Assistant Editor

Bertie Ruth DeSha Ramsey is a Central alumna from the class of 1939, and she recently celebrated her 100 birthday.  She was born and raised in Chattanooga. While she was not heavily involved at Central, she has left a legacy.  She has had the privilege to see all of her children and three of her grandchildren graduate from Central.

When Ramsey was attending Central, her family did not have the funds to allow her to participate in extracurricular activities and field trips.  While she expresses that she was not a “good” student, she did win the school spelling bee.

“She made up her mind that she was going to learn to spell…She learned to spell Czechoslovakia ,which to this day she can still spell forwards and backwards,” explained Ramsey’s daughter, Tonya Brown.

Graduating high school was an important milestone in Ramsey’s life as she was the only person in her family to graduate; she has five siblings. Several things stand out to Ramsey about her time at Central.  She still owns her 1939 Champion yearbook and her class ring. Mr. J. Pope Dyer was a teacher at Central who stands out to her, for he taught all three of Ramsey’s daughters. Her method of getting to school was a unique one.  While most students today ride in a car or bus to school, Ramsey walked two miles from her home off of Amnicola Highway and took two different streetcars to school.

After high school, Ramsey went to work at the Brock Candy Company, which has since closed its Chattanooga factory, inspecting chocolates. As World War II was taking off, she went to work measuring powder for bombs at the Chattanooga TNT plant; this is where the Volkswagen plant is now. At that time, she was married and her husband was fighting in the war.

After the war, Ramsey moved into a house across from her childhood home with hard earned money that she saved during the war.  Ramsey spent her time raising her daughters and helping her husband run his extermination company.  She helped by answering phones and taking care of finances.

Ramsey’s legacy at Central has continued as her three daughters are Central graduates: Tonya Brown, Janice Pope, and Jeanette Huddleston. She has also been able to see three grandchildren graduate from Central: Jenifer Brown, Heather Brown, and Adam Pope.