Festus R-VI Hall of Fame Inductee - Ruth Hall
2005 Festus R-VI Hall of Fame Recipient
When identifying someone who exhibits the criteria for inclusion in the Festus High School Hall of Fame, one finds that Ruth Hall is the ideal choice. Ruth epitomizes a person who exhibits leadership, character, achievement, service and role model suitability.
In high school, Ruth’s leadership was shown by her writing The Spokesman, school news that was published in the Tri-City Independent, and by serving on the yearbook staff. She graduated from Festus High School in 1932 as class valedictorian.
After high school, Ruth continued to show her leadership in the Citizens Bank, where her banking career began when she was hired to count and roll pennies. Her continued determination, honesty, and hard work were rewarded during the next forty-four years by her progression in the bank to eventually become the first woman vice president. The bank recognized her by setting aside two days – December 28 and 29, 1978 – to show appreciation for her forty-four years of service and leadership. In addition to her leadership in her profession, Ruth has been a leader in her church, the First Presbyterian Church. She has served as church librarian, treasurer, Sunday school teacher, and member of the board of deacons.
Her work in her church is that of someone of exemplary character. An example of her selflessness is her taking in the daughter of a missionary who came to speak at her church. The daughter needed assistance in obtaining a green card to come to America to further her education and become an American citizen. Ruth invited her to live with her in her home for the next two years while she earned a degree from Washington University and obtained her American citizenship.
Ruth’s achievements in the bank business are marked by her being hired at Citizens Bank in a low-level position and then being promoted to stenographer, check filer, and eventually the first vice president of Commerce Bank of Festus. This recognition shows the respect and support of her business associates for her helping hundreds of citizens with their financial needs.
Ruth’s service in the community spreads over many decades. During the Depression, she worked with the local branch of Works Progress Administration (WPA). During World War II, she was a member of the USO. Other organizations to which she has made valuable contributions are Jefferson County Camera Club, Festus/Crystal City Extension Club, and Board of Trustees of the Festus Public Library. As a member of the Festus Bi-Centennial committee Ruth helped gather information for the committee’s publications. Ruth was treasurer of the Jefferson County American Red Cross and is a rare-blood donor for the local blood bank.
For a long time, Ruth has served as an excellent role model to those of all ages at her work, at her church and in her community. Her life continues to mirror honesty, hard work and determination. Although she has been legally blind since she was fourteen, Ruth has not allowed any obstacles to stand in the way of her accomplishing what she wants and encouraging others to accomplish their goals. At the age of eighty-nine, she maintains daily communication with her family and friends via email on her computer. Her keeping up with technology exemplifies her philosophy: “Every day is a learning experience, no matter how old you are.”
These positive traits make Ruth Hall an outstanding member of the Festus High School Hall of Fame.