Ruby Mona Tharpe McLemore, 88, died at home surrounded by family on July 10, 2019.
Born in Jackson, MS, on August 18, 1930, she started working at South Central Bell within a few days of graduating from Central High School in 1948. She held many management positions during her 34 years with the company and was state-wide marketing manager at the time of her retirement in 1982.
She played the piano beautifully and was a church pianist for many years. She also played for many revivals across the state and for nursing home events. She was a Sunday school teacher, vacation Bible school director, children’s church director, missions president, and a choir member once she retired as pianist. She also enjoyed being involved with the WMU.
She served on the Selective Service Board for twenty years after being nominated by Governor William Winter and appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
She was actively involved with the Pilot Club of Jackson, an international civic/service club, from 1976 to 2004 and served as president for four years. She was also an officer of the American Business Woman’s Association and a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.
She was the chairman of the CHS 48ers committee and coordinated their reunions and Christmas parties for many years. She looked forward to each of their get-togethers and always had fun with her former classmates.
She was a docent at the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, a volunteer at the four Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange exhibits, assisted former First Lady Pat Fordice with the “Books for Bucks” program in Jackson public schools, presented the “Brainminders” program to public and private schools while volunteering with the Mississippi Brain Injury Association, and coordinated and sponsored sing-alongs and bingo parties for numerous nursing homes around the metropolitan area, including the VA nursing home. She volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House and rang the Salvation Army bell each Christmas for many years. She was also a member of the Alzheimer’s Association, Methodist Rehab Central Auxiliary, Friends of the Library, Concordia Bridge and Luncheon Club, Welcome Neighbors Club, Christian Woman’s Club, Mississippi Museum of Art, and Mississippi Museum of Art Auxiliary.
She is preceded in death by Earl J. McLemore, Jr.; her parents, Clive Tharpe, Sr., and Thelma Hardin Tharpe; her brothers, Clive Tharpe, Jr., Jerome K. “Bubba” Tharpe, and Grant Tharpe; and her sister, Ann Elizabeth Tharpe.
She is survived by her brother, Loring Tharpe; her sisters-in-law, Jan Tharpe, Suzie Tharpe, and Mildred Tharpe; her children, Donna McLemore, Dave McLemore, and Denise McLemore Phillips (Jack Phillips); her grandchildren, Dylan McLemore (Heather McLemore), Lindsey McLemore Patrizzi (Chase Patrizzi), Sarah Adison Phillips, and Jackson Phillips; and her great-grandchildren, Bellia Patrizzi and Haven Patrizzi.
A private memorial will be held at a later date. Certainly many of you who are reading this were recipients of her beautifully handwritten notes expressing love, encouragement, well-wishes, and thankfulness. In lieu of flowers and donations, love on someone today by sending them a handwritten note.