Ruth A. McNeff


Dyersburg, TN- Ruth A. McNeff, formerly of Sackets Harbor, living to the age of 103, Ruth experienced and witnessed much in this life. On Saturday, September 12, 2020 she passed away peacefully.

Born July 8, 1917 in Lima, Ohio, Ruth grew up and graduated from high school in 1935 in the small town of Spencerville, near Lima. Growing up she and her classmates rode bicycles and took walks along the canal that runs through Spencerville. After high school, she attended beauty school, became a licensed beautician and also worked in her sister’s local sandwich shop.

In 1946 in Oswego, NY she married James F. McNeff, of Lima. He was an Army Air Force Pilot in WWII, flew in Burma and a decorated veteran of the China-Burma-India theater. After the war, Jim became an air traffic controller. They resided, in addition to Lima, in Dubuque Iowa, Cleveland Ohio, Charleston WVA, and for most of their life in Sackets Harbor, NY. She became widowed in 2003.

In her more active years, she enjoyed early morning walks, reading books about history, sewing, crocheting hats, knitting, gardening, boating on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, visiting Alaska ten times, attending weekly music classes for seniors, playing the violin, harp, guitar, organ, driving her car, shoveling snow out of her driveway and mowing her own grass, well into her 90’s. She was a private, self-reliant, and independent person who was not at all shy about expressing her opinion, in spite of having poor hearing.

Crocheting and yarn was her passion and she had made hundreds of crocheted hats, each one from different colors and textures of yarn. She was especially proud of having won several blue ribbons with her hats and her embroidery in Alaska State Fairs. She sewed for many years making clothes, her own draperies, car seat covers, guitar carrying cases, and boat cushions. She loved a challenge.

She lived in Dyersburg, Tennessee since 2012 near her daughter, Susan Charley and her husband Jerry. She is also survived by a son, James Kevin McNeff of Wasilla Alaska and his wife Karen, as well as nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

She was predeceased by Jim, her husband of 57 years, her sister Jean Carey, her brother Bob Mack, and a daughter-in-law Patti McNeff.

She was a member of the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Dyersburg, TN and St. Andrew’s Parish in Sackets Harbor, NY. A grave-side service in Lakeside Cemetery in Sackets Harbor NY will be held at a future date. Arrangements are with D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. Online condolences may be made to

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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