MCCLENDON, RUTH ELIZABETH JONES (1943 ~ 2017). The following is an obituary for former Texas House Member Ruth Jones McClendon. The obituary was provided by Lewis Funeral Home of San Antonio.
On December 19, 2017, God called Ruth Elizabeth Jones McClendon home to Glory.
Ruth was born on October 5, 1943 in Houston, Texas. An only child, she was raised by the late Benjamin and the late Elizabeth Jones.
She was educated in the Houston Public School System and further matriculated at Texas Southern University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She also attended Webster’s University where she earned a Master of Business in Administration and was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Texas Southern University, Guadalupe Theological Seminary and St. Philip’s College.
In 1967, Ruth married the late Thaddies Jones, Jr. To their union was born Thaddies Jones, III.
She was a Golden Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a longtime member of The Links, Inc. She chartered the San Antonio Chapter of 100 Black Women and the National Council of Negro Women in San Antonio is named in her honor.
Ruth was a faithful and dedicated member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church for nearly 50 years. She served in several ministries including the Myrtle Marie Gardiner, Chapter 21- 4th Degree Ladies of Grace, Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, and a Lector.
McClendon’s mission of public service began while campaigning for one of her mentors, the Honorable Barbara Jordan, and then continued as she worked with disadvantaged youth as a juvenile probation officer in San Antonio.
In July of 1987, Ruth married Denver McClendon, which led to 30 years of wedding bliss.
Her service broadened when she was elected to the San Antonio City Council in 1993, where she represented her beloved District Two for three years. In 1997, she advanced her political prowess to the state level, representing the residents of District 120 in the Texas House of Representatives – where she served for nearly 20 years. As a Senior legislator, Ruth achieved great strides in making the community, state and nation a better place by authoring several successful legislative initiatives, ensuring: Innocent men and women are not convicted falsely of crimes; Those afflicted with drug dependency do not face deadly risks due to infected needles; Places for the less fortunate to start anew; Economic opportunities available to all in community colleges and job-training programs; Women are treated equally in terms of pay, health care, and control of their own bodies; Transportation infrastructure; Resources for Texas’ centers of higher education; and Discussions amongst legislative bodies took place in an open, honest discussion without labels, agendas, and extreme positions.
For over half a century, McClendon had the privilege of working for and with the people of Texas. As a child from the Fifth Ward of Houston, she learned early on that everyone needs a helping hand some time in life. And, more importantly, she believed that if people joined together, they can achieve economic advancement and make their communities better. This was Ruth’s guiding principle during her tour of duty as a public servant.
Ruth Elizabeth Jones McClendon leaves to cherish her memory, her loving and devoted husband Denver McClendon, son Thaddies Jones, III. (Vanessa), San Antonio, TX; stepson Mark McClendon (Bola), Nashville, TN; stepdaughters Angela McClendon Johnson (Marcel), San Antonio, TX, and Meredith McClendon Freeman, Houston, TX; eleven grandchildren Maliyah, Elizabeth and Thaddies, IV, San Antonio, TX; Bomani Westbrook McClendon, New York, NY; Reseun Moses McClendon, Hanover, NH; Remi Bonita McClendon and Alade McClendon, Nashville, TN; Nicholas Westbrook Johnson and Preston Westbrook Johnson, San Antonio, TX; Sydney Anita Victoria Freeman and Lawrence Wayne Freeman III; Houston, TX; as well as a host of other loving relatives and devoted friends.