In Memoriam: Ruth Ann Hines
By Molly Dugan
Ruth Ann Hines, a devoted 50-plus year AAUW member and steadfast branch and state leader, died Dec. 25 in her home. She was 76.
AAUW is but one beneficiary of Ruth Ann’s energy; she also held leadership positions in the Parent-Teacher Association, and was an active volunteer for her church, the California State Fair and Sacramento State athletics.
But AAUW had a special place in heart, her family and friends said.
“She looked at a lot of us as part of her family,” Marilyn Orrick, a longtime friend and AAUW member said. “As an only child, we took the place of some extended family for her, as well as (providing) intellectual stimulation.”
Chuck Hines, Ruth Ann’s husband of 49 years, said she cherished Tech Trek in particular. She served on the founding Tech Trek committee and as a “dorm mom” for several camps.
He said she was also proud of her work on the branch’s “Vanishing Victorians” and recalled spending hours with her in the basement of a government office to conduct research for the book, which was published in 1973.
Ruth Ann was a two-time Sacramento branch president, in 1986-1987 and 1999- 2000, and a longtime parliamentarian. She was a named-gift honoree multiple times.
She was also a well-known figure at the state. She served on the AAUW-Ca Governance Committee, the state’s Legal Advocacy Fund and Bylaws committees and was a familiar face at AAUW events at the State Capitol.
Ruth Ann participated in Great Decisions, Reader’s Theater and the now-defunct AAUW puppeteers and book sale fundraisers.
“She was generous to a fault,” Orrick said. “There wasn’t anything you could ask of her that she would refuse.”
A native of Arcata, Ruth Ann earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Humboldt State University and worked as a third-grade teacher at Lone Tree Elementary School on Beale Air Force Base. After marrying and moving to Sacramento, she worked as teacher’s aide and substitute teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Sacramento (now defunct).
Her involvement with public schools did not end there. She was active in the Parent-Teacher Association for decades – even after her son Aaron graduated – and served as the PTA president for the third district of California. She even decorated the PTA’s 100th anniversary Rose Parade float in Pasadena, Chuck said.
Ruth Ann and Chuck worked together at women’s and men’s Sacramento State basketball games for nearly 40 years, Chuck at the scoreboard and Ruth Ann at the shot clock. They sat courtside together for every home game. The couple also volunteered at the California State Fair for 39 years, primarily working in the “counties” building and running bingo games.
They attended the American Lutheran Church of the Cross and volunteered for the St. John’s Program for Real Change (formerly the Shelter for Women and Children), and Ruth Ann’s always-in-motion knitting needles created an untold number of hats and cold-weather gear for the WIND Youth Services, a program for homeless youth.
At the time of her death, Ruth Ann was caring for 14 feral cats.
In addition to her husband and son, Ruth Ann is survived by two grandchildren and numerous friends. Services will be private.
Donations may be made to AAUW Sacramento Scholarships in Ruth Ann’s memory. Please be sure indicate Ruth Ann’s name on any donation. Checks can be sent to Finance Director Liz Jordan, who is listed in the directory.
If you are interested in donating any knitting or crochet to WIND in Ruth Ann’s honor, please contact Donna Holmes.