- Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:03
- Published on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:00
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Ruth J. Herrink died October 12, 2013, surrounded by her family, following a brief illness.
Ruth frequently recited the 23rd psalm; her cup truly was filled to overflowing with life, energy and ideas. She learned the words of the “Salutation to the Dawn” from her father Basil B. Jones - “Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
The day before her final illness she was filled with energy, working on the next edition of The Journal in King George, and talking about her vision for how the problems with the urgent care facility in King George were an opportunity for something better for the future.
Ruth loved to have her children and her King George family around her. She loved to fix dinner, and to visit about the day, the world and all that was happening in the lives of her family and friends.
She had a questing mind - always working on a new project or coming up with ideas about how something could be improved. Many people sought her advice and she worked to promote projects that benefitted the community.
She was in her office at The Journal every day and had a steady stream of visits and phone calls about community affairs.
In September of this year she had started weekly classes in the “Education for Ministry” program, a four-year course about the Bible, theology and church history because she was still on a spiritual journey.
Ruth was active as the publisher of The Journal newspaper in King George, in constructing the building which housed an urgent care center in King George, in Historyland Memorial Park and in community affairs until her last illness. Ruth understood the need for an informed community and community service.
Ruth was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, Richmond, Va., class of 1943. She attended Oberlin College, Ohio, and graduated from Simmons College, Boston,MA, in 1948
For the last thirty years, Ruth published The Journal a weekly newspaper serving King George, Colonial Beach and Westmoreland. On this she worked closely with her daughter Jessica Herrink. At 81 years of age, she and Louis Herrink were instrumental in constructing a new office building in King George to house an urgent care facility and medical offices. She was involved in establishing the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation and Museum. As publisher of the newspaper she helped promote the Love thy Neighbor Food Bank, the King George Farmers’ Market and other community activities.
Prior to moving to King George, Ruth was the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for the Commonwealth of Virginia, appointed in by Governor Linwood Holton and serving in this capacity under three governors. She established a consumer board to advise on licensing, established continuing education requirements and revised policies to allow independent practice for social workers and optometrists.
Ruth served as a member of the Richmond City Council from 1963-65. During this time she voted to open park district round houses to African-American citizens.
At the time she was told that being public about her vote would not be good for her political career. Believing it was the right thing to do, she made her views public.
Ruth also served on the Human Relations Commission for Richmond, Va. to advise on implementation of civil rights in that era and was a member of the Commonwealth of Virginia Commission on the Status of Women. Ruth was a founding member of the Richmond Forum which brought nationally and internationally known speakers to Richmond. She was a founding member of the Women’s Bank in Richmond. She had a lifetime of community and public service.
Ruth Herrink is survived by three daughters: Sarah (John) Ailey, Beverly (Brian) Klunk and Jessica Herrink, their father Louis Herrink, five grandchildren: Joseph and Cynthia (Richard Darago) Ailey, Patrick and Edward Klunk, and Meredith Wolfe, and a great-granddaughter Veronica Darago, her sister Patricia Parnell and her nephews William, Edward, Larry and Howard Parnell. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents Dr. Basil B. and Ruth S. Jones. Services are Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 8 p.m. at Nash and Slaw Funeral Home in King George. The family will receive guests from 7-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation, the Love Thy Neighbor Food Bank, the King George YMCA or a charity of your choice.