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Ruth Elizabeth Thomas McGarry
Charlotte, N.C.
obit-McGarry Ruthweb


Mrs. McGarry, 89, died Monday, September 24, 2012, at her Carmel Place home in Charlotte, NC. She was born September 9, 1923, in the Shopton community of western Mecklenburg County to the late Floyd Leon and Ida Rayfield Thomas. After graduation from Berryhill High School, Ruth was employed as a teleprinter operator for Western Union in uptown Charlotte. During World War II, Ruth worked in both the Los Angeles and Oakland, California bureaus. While living in California, she met a young Marine named Gale Richard McGarry, whom she married, and in 1996, the couple celebrated their Golden Anniversary.

Ruth was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Camden, SC, where she participated in the Silver Tones choir, and the Young at Heart group. Before blindness severely limited her activity, she was an avid bridge player. At Carmel Place, she was a member of the Bell Ringers ensemble, and enjoyed her weekly Bingo games. To the end of her life, her memory was keen. She will always be remembered for her wittiness, her positive outlook on life, even during hard times, her humility, and, most of all, her deep and abiding faith.

Ruth is survived by her brother, Dr. William Grady Thomas, and wife Carolyn, of Bristol, TN; a son, Dr. Richard McGarry, and wife Carter, of Davidson, NC; a daughter, Jill McGarry Norman, and husband, Richard, of Charlotte, NC; her four granddaughters, Kristi Williams of Atlanta, GA, Megan Winslow of Suffolk, VA, Allison Norman of Chapel Hill, NC and Catherine Norman of Boone, NC and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held at 3:00 PM, Friday, September 28, 2012, in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Camden SC, with the Rev. Bruce Hancock officiating. A memorial celebration of Ruth’s life will be held at Carmel Place on Saturday, September 29, 2012, at 2:00 PM, with Chaplain Diane Mowrey officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the First Baptist Church of Camden, 1201 Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020 or to Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207. Arrangements are in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service 1111 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC. Please share condolences online at