Honoring a noble woman, an undeniable champion of justice, beloved by all who crossed her path, Mary Ruth Robinson, passed peacefully at age 104 on July 5, 2020 in Memphis, TN. Born in Knob Noster, MO on April 9, 1916 to a loving mother and a father who served in a black regiment in WW1 and, in that era, was one of few African American educators and school superintendents. Her cherished younger and only sibling, Martha Rose, passed in infanthood. She graduated from Lincoln College MO, a proud AKA Sorority Sister, and then worked as a “Rosie the Riviter” literally riveting airplane parts together, in WWII. Later, Mary Ruth worked for the IRS in Kansas City and transferred to Memphis in the 1960’s.
Mary Ruth’s life of service to mankind, her ceaseless advocacy of peace and justice, uplifter of her heritage, an exemplar of authentic race amity born of her certitude in the oneness of humanity and her unquenchable passion for unity in diversity were not only aligned with, but reinforced and invigorated by her chosen religion, the Baha’i Faith. Mary Ruth’s profound beliefs were manifested in her activities, many for which she received awards of recognition, such as her numerous years of volunteer service on the board of the Midsouth Peace and Justice Center for which she received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Also notable was her extensive world travel to, at that time, risky destinations such as Nicaragua, Russia, China and Cuba where she documented, thanks to her talent as a photographer, the human condition in all its cultural diversity. Later she traveled to Ghana in tribute to Dr. W. E. B. Dubois, founder of the NAACP. Her photo collection, shown in several exhibitions, can be found in the archives of the University of Memphis Library.
Mary Ruth is survived by cousins Laurie Glass-Sadiq of Casablanca, Morocco , Linda Page of Champaign, IL , Alvin Collins of Chicago, IL and a host of other cousins.
Our beloved Mary Ruth Robinson, with a graceful spirit, a countenance stately yet humble, brave yet gentle, passionate yet reserved, and a heart replete of peace and loving kindness will be sorely missed though her remembrance inspires and happy reunion awaits. For information on donations and/or attending her online Memorial celebration, contact 901-336-2806.
O Lord, O Thou Whose mercy hath encompassed all, Whose forgiveness is transcendent, Whose bounty is sublime, Whose pardon and generosity are all-embracing, and the lights of Whose forgiveness are diffused throughout the world! O Lord of Glory! I entreat Thee, fervently and tearfully, to cast upon Thy handmaiden who hath ascended unto Thee the glances of the eye of Thy mercy. Robe her in the mantle of Thy grace, bright with the ornaments of the celestial Paradise, and, sheltering her beneath the tree of Thy oneness, illumine her face with the lights of Thy mercy and compassion.
Bestow upon Thy heavenly handmaiden, O God, the holy fragrances born of the spirit of Thy forgiveness. Cause her to dwell in a blissful abode, heal her griefs with the balm of Thy reunion, and, in accordance with Thy will, grant her admission to Thy holy Paradise. Let the angels of Thy loving-kindness descend successively upon her, and shelter her beneath Thy blessed Tree. Thou art, verily, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous, the All-Bountiful.'Abdul-Baha