Ruth was born in Florida and at the young age of 6, while watching the airplanes take off and land at Drew Field, developed her love of flying. One day she would be flying airplanes.
Twenty years later, at the age of 26 she bought a 1942 Taylorcraft L2 for $1500, hired an instructor and learned to fly on a grass cross runway in the middle of a sorghum field. The T-craft had limited instruments, no radio, no starter. She had to prop the airplane to fly the farm areas of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her next airplane was an Ercoupe. The she bought a 1959 Cessna 182 and in 1976, with her 99 friend, Esther Bennett, flew the airplane to Alaska where she lived for about 22 years enjoying the flying in Alaska.
She organized and became the first chairman of the Cook Inlet Ninety-Nines.
While in Alaska, she bought interest in an original Cessna 170, and eventually, when she married Jim, he bought the other share of 06V. Then when he had the opportunity to buy a tricked out 170B, they sold 06V. They had one tricycle gear and one tail dragger airplane while living the Alaskan flying dream. Living in Anchor Point, they had an airstrip next to their home and flying was their major mode of transportation.
She reluctantly sold her beloved 41E when she and her husband, Jim, went to China where Jim worked for Arco for a period of time.
When they returned to Alaska, they bought another Cessna 182.
She was involved with the Alaska Airmen’s Association and helped plan and implement 35 American and Canadian airplanes flying to the Providenyia, Far East, Soviet Union in 1991. At that time she met Bill Sign because he with his Mooney was one of the 35 airplanes that took the flight.
The next year, in 1992, she helped Bill and his Russian navigator, Yuri Karitonov, with some contacts and logistics on his flight around the world. They landed at Merrill Field during the Anchorage Air Show, which Ruth was Chairman of that year.
In 1993, she handled the logistics for four American airplanes fly to Providenyia, Far East Russia and back to Alaska. She also planned and made the arrangements for three Cessnas to fly to Russia and Mongolia,. They had originally planned to fly to Russia, Mongolia, China and Japan, but were denied entry to China and had to abort that part of the trip. She and Jim were part of that group.
Then in 1996, she and Bill flew his Cessna 210 around the world in 50 days. This flight took them to seven continents, 13 countries with 32 stops earning them a place in the 1996 Guinness Book of World Records as “The Fastest Time Visiting All Seven Continents”. It also earned them the honor of “One of The Ten Most Interesting Flights of 1996” and they were awarded a plaque in a special presentation at the Smithsonian.
In 1997, they bought a sailboat and went sailing in the Bahamas. Ruth missed flying, so she found another C182 in California, bought it and returned to the Bahamas. The sail boat was small so they bought a 55 ft Chriscraft and stayed on the water for a few years, then came back to her native Florida and they both went to work selling real estate. Work kept them busy and she wasn’t flying the airplane enough, so they sold it along with their hanger. Now she is flying with friends when she gets the opportunity.