A SAD GOODBYE TO
MY FRIEND DONNA RUTH
RICK ARCHER'S NOTE: Donna Ruth was a
close friend of mine who passed away late in 2004.
Donna came to the studio in the late Eighties as part of the
Studebaker Era. That is when Donna became an integral part
of the studio. Here is a quote from the Studebakers Story:
practically all of the important SSQQ instructors in the
Nineties came from this Studebaker Generation. Maureen Brunetti, Susie Allen, Donna Ruth, Judy Stidham, Ben Liles, and
Linda Rooks were all card-carrying members of the Studebaker
Donna worked here
at SSQQ for many years during the 1990s. In
addition to teaching Swing Dancing, Donna also helped with
She was a close friend to Judy Archer and Maureen Brunetti.
She was also a best friend to Margaret Easley, the lovely wife of my
best friend Tom Easley.
Margaret and Donna worked together at an elementary school in
Sugarland for many years. I believe Donna was the
school librarian. I think Margaret came
to SSQQ first, so I have to guess it was Margaret who talked Donna
into coming over here to the studio.
From the 1993 SSQQ
Donna Ruth with her pal Peter the Nerd (Peter Shores)
Sharon Michaels is in the background with her mother Marjorie
----- Original Message -----
From: Margaret Easley
To: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 4:49 PM
Subject: Donna Ruth
Didn't know if you knew about Donna Ruth. I just found out
myself since our computer has been out of commission for about
Donna died Oct. 29. She had had a heart attack last summer and
was on medication, but I went to lunch with her last September
and she seemed good.
I am assuming she had another heart attack but don't know for
sure. I am really shocked and saddened.
(RICK ARCHER'S NOTE:
Donna's death was an eye-opener for the rest of
us. Donna was a card-carrying member of our SSQQ inner circle.
Donna was one of us! As I told
Margaret and Tom Easley,
this meant Donna Ruth
first of our close-knit group to pass to the other side.
She was just a few years older than the rest of
Donna was in her late 50s when she passed away.
That is a pretty young age to die of a heart attack.
Unfortunately, Donna refused to take care of herself.
After the death of her beloved husband
Paul in the Eighties, Donna
never completely regained her enthusiasm for
living. Donna put Paul up on a pedestal and talked about being
reunited with him all the time. So she proceeded to
deliberately neglect her health. Donna smoked
a lot, ate whatever she wanted, and didn't exercise.
Although she had been a fixture at the
studio throughout the Nineties, when her health declined in the
2000s, Donna began to stay away from the studio. Upon her
death, I had not seen her in some time.
My main memory is Donna's big warm heart
and happy laugh. A graduate of Lamar High School and
the University of Houston, Donna was very intelligent and possessed
a kind heart. She loved to Jitterbug - she and Maureen spent many a
night over at Studebaker's dancing till they dropped
from exhaustion back in the late 80s.
Farewell, my friend, and rest in
FOOTNOTE: THE EINSTEIN PUZZLE!
Donna Ruth had the unusual
distinction of bringing the Einstein Puzzle to
Back in 1998, my friend
the Einstein Puzzle to me.
As someone who enjoys Logic Puzzles, I gave
it a try. Then, after I solved it, I wrote
this article in my dance studio newsletter.
Puzzle : Donna submits a Brain Teaser !
(pictured at right from one of our Sock
Hop Parties) is our well-known Jitterbug instructor.
sent me a brain teaser that claims to have been
created by none other than Dr. Albert Einstein himself.
carried the assertion that Albert
98% of all humanity didn't have the smarts to lick this
problem. Well, that kind of challenge got my
blood boiling! A
puzzle that proves
I am smarter than the next guy was right up my alley.
Little did I know how tricky it was. I have to
say solving the puzzle wasn't easy, but
five hours later and about half a dead tree in
paper, yes, I got the correct answer.
that I had to work harder than expected, but grateful I
had managed to stumble into the
elite 2%, I must say the logic test was a worthy one.
you desire to see if you belong in the upper 2% of
the world's brain jocks, then
go for it!
Believe it or not, if you type "Einstein Puzzle"
into Google, the SSQQ version pops up on Page
One. The SSQQ Einstein Puzzle sent in by
Donna went on to become famous. Indeed,
for many years, it had the very Google first
listing, but I see we are down to Number Four
these days. I am sure Donna must be very
amused at this odd legacy.