Former Union City resident Ruth Starr Gordon Strayhorn, born on Christ-mas day in 1938, died peacefully with family by her side on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, 2018.
Called “Rooster” by friends and family, Ruth Starr had a singular gift of drawing friends from all walks of life to her warmth of personality with unconditional love. Along with her constant companion and husband, Al, she delighted in opening her home to new friends as well as those fostered over many years of vibrant life in Nashville.
Ruth Starr was the daughter of the late Grace Braun and John Gardner Gordon of Memphis and the sister of the late Patricia Gordon Robinson.
She is survived by her amazing husband of 58 years, Alfred Blalock Strayhorn; children, Alfred Blalock (Blake) Strayhorn Jr., John Gardner (Gordon) Strayhorn and Gretchen Winston Strayhorn Greene; her sister, Laurie Gordon Carney of Boston and Vero Beach; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Ruth Starr graduated from the Hutchinson School, Holton Arms and the University of Mississippi. An accomplished artist with an eye for beauty and sensitivity to relationship, she worked as an interior designer for many years before turning to her favorite medium, painting whimsical scenes of the “world according to Rooster,” which she loved to give to friends and family. She also loved to “work the phones” and write notes of encouragement to let her many friends and family know how much each meant to her.
A member of a number of social and service organizations, she especially loved her church family at St. Augustine’s Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus and the spiritual gifts of love and music that often spilled over into her home.
We’ll celebrate her life at 1 p.m. Saturday at Benton Chapel on Vanderbilt’s campus.
In lieu of flowers, write notes of encouragement to Al or give generously to Thistle Farms, St. Augustine’s or your favorite charity.
She’s our Rooster. Cock a Doodle Do!