Ruth G. Whitley

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2008

MURFREESBORO, N.C.—Ruth Grantham Whitley, 69, of the 100 block of W. High Street, died at the

home of her sister and brother-in-law at 1412 Ridge Road, Lancaster, Pa., June 19, 2008.

Born in Murfreesboro, Hertford County, N.C., where she was a lifelong resident, she was the daughter of the late Robert Eldridge and Mildred Elizabeth Boone Whitley.

She graduated from Murfreesboro High School as valedictorian of her class. Following high school she was a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Raleigh and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority. After college, she was employed by Leggett Myers Tobacco Company, Durham, N.C.

After several years she returned home to teach school before becoming involved with the family business, Whitley’s Barbecue in Murfreesboro, later becoming the owner and manager of the business after her father.

She developed the business to become a well-known and appreciated northeastern North Carolina restaurant destination specializing in popular foods of the region. Ruth dedicated her life to this work until Aug. 13, 2007, at which point she suffered a devastating stroke.

Until the time of her death she was being cared for by her family. She appreciated the beauty of many things in life and special qualities in other people. She was especially in tune with the marvel of nature.

Yellowstone and places of the American West were dear to her heart. She had worked in Yellowstone during college.

Survivors include her sister, Nancy Boone Whitley Sidebottom, wife of W. Jeffrey of Lancaster, Pa., and a niece, Katherine Sidebottom Simpson, wife of George Lee IV of Raleigh, N.C.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her life celebration memorial service from the Murfreesboro Baptist Church, Main St., Murfreesboro, N.C., today at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Lee Canipe officiating.

Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family. Friends may call at the church from 2 p.m. until time of service.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Yellowstone Association, P.O. Box 117, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, (307) 344-2289.