YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Strong values, deep faith and community service characterized life of Youngstown native Ruth Marie Gatewood Squire, a force of nature known for her boundless energy, deep conviction and fierce commitment, passed away at the age of 96 on Sunday, November 29, 2020.
Ruth’s steely determination was a byproduct of Depression-era Youngstown, where Mayhue and Ella Gatewood raised their children with high standards and a strong sense of right and wrong.
Like millions of other Black families who left home in search of employment and security, the Gatewoods were part of what historians term the Great Migration from the rural, agricultural south to the urban, industrial north. In 1921, Mayhue and Ella Gatewood relocated from Marianna, Arkansas to “Stop 26” in Youngstown, Ohio, better known as “The Sharon Line.”
On February 29, 1924, they welcomed Ruth to their growing family. She would go on to be an avid participant in church and civic activities before graduating from Scienceville High School.
After graduation, Ruth met Percy Montgomery Squire, a steelworker at Youngstown’s Carnegie Illinois plant. The pair married in 1943 and initially settled on Youngstown’s South Side before purchasing a home on the city’s East Side where they raised their three children and Ruth dedicated herself to church, community and various civic activities.
She became an integral part of local institutions including Reed’s Chapel A.M.E and Price Memorial A.M.E. Zion church, organizations like the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), McGuffey Center, Church Women United, Protestant Family Service, National Council of Negro Women and the Northeast Side Homeowners Association. Ruth was also the controlling member of Stop 26-Riverbend, LLC, a local radio business.
Throughout her life, Ruth followed her parents’ example. She and Percy provided their children with opportunities, social, and economic resources that weren’t available to her during her formative years. Recognized for her honest nature, Ruth gained a reputation as a dedicated mother who emphasized Christian ethics, family values and discipline in the home, in school and in the community. Those principles provided the foundation for the pursuits and accomplishments attained by her three children, Florence, Cheryl and Percy.
As the last of the 15 Gatewood siblings to leave this earth, Ruth’s homegoing marks the end of an era, both for her family and for what many refer to as “The Greatest Generation.” Ruth’s uncompromising principles, deep faith and concern for community embodied the values of that era and the spirit of Youngstown.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Mayhue and Ella Gatewood, nee Jackson; her husband, Percy Montgomery Squire, to whom she was married for 74 years and her second child, Cheryl Squire Flint of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She is survived by two children, Florence Squire Coleman (Joseph, deceased) of Beavercreek, Ohio and Percy Squire (Carole) of Columbus, Ohio; four grandchildren, Joy L. Eisner (Robert) of Chicago, Illinois, Troy M. Flint (Lindsay) of Sacramento, California, Reva M. Squire of Columbus and Deidra R. Squire of Wheaton, Maryland and four great-grandchildren, Lukas C. Eisner, Ophelia Flint, Jillian G. Eisner and Montgomery K.S. Flint. Ruth is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Ethel P. McMullen and Emma G. Gatewood of Youngstown, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other dear relatives and her church family and friends.
We thank God for putting Ruth in our life. She took an avid interest in those around her. This ability to enrich all our lives will never be forgotten. The family would like to thank the Bickford of Bexley Senior Living for the care its staff gave Ruth during her final years and thank you for the prayers, friendship, and support you offered Ruth during her time here on earth. We ask that you celebrate Ruth and the life she lived.
Regrettably, due to the current pandemic there will be no guests at the Church. The service will be streamed live over the internet.
Arrangements are being managed by the L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home, Inc.
The live stream services will begin on Friday, December 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Services may be accessed by the following methods:
1. Go to www.GatheringsUs.com and click on The Ruth Marie Gatewood Squire memorial page.
2. Go to the Price Memorial/Reverend King Facebook page.
3. If you can not access the service via the internet you may listen on the radio at radio station FM 99.7, WKTX-AM 830 or thedrumradio.com using the Google Chrome browser.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Marie Gatewood Squire, please visit our floral store.
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