The life of RUTH GARLAND DEWSON - San Francisco’s FAMOUS HAT LADY - was celebrated last Thursday morning in the serene sanctuary of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, located in San Francisco Fillmore/Western Addition, on Post Street. Befitting her fame, Ruth rested in dignified manner. Ceremony, Officiated by Pastor STACI CURRENT, was touching! Funeral arrangements entrusted to Bryant Mortuary in the City. They did a wonderful job in preserving Ruth’s style - adorned in all white, glorious white hat fit for the Queen she was!

Ruth was born on March 10, 1939 in Paris, Texas, She is preceded in death by her parents Elgie Posey Garland and Willie Garland, and 8 siblings (there were eleven children born to this union); her loving husband, ERNEST DEWSON. She leaves to cherish her memory two sisters, Obie Goff of Los Angeles, CA and Delores Parks of Dallas, Texas, and host of relatives and friends. RUTH ANN, as she was lovingly called by her family, will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

This remarkable woman has moved on to a better place, but will always be etched in memories of many, not only for her hats, but her compassion to help others. One such deed, when she took up the cause of FLOZELLE WOODMORE, whom she’d never met, a woman who spent 21 years in prison for killing her abusive boyfriend when she was 18. Woodmore had been repeatedly denied parole UNTIL Ruth took up the cause. She rallied public and political opinion to persuade Gov. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER to grant parole for Woodmore, a 39-year-old woman who had spent more than half of her life in jail for killing an abusive boyfriend. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

Ruth shared Woodmore’s joy when released on probation , August 2, 2007. Sad, Woodmore died at age 44 of a brain aneurysm earlier this year!

Attendees at Ruth’s Homegoing service included: former San Francisco Mayor WILLIE BROWN, Jr...Ruth designed the ‘WILLIE BRIM” in his honor; Rev. JAMES McCRAY; S.F. Public Defender JEFF ADACHI who was called upon many times by Ruth in her pursuit to help Woodmore; Supervisor LONDON BREED; KRON-TV PAM MOORE; S.F. SHERIFF ROSS MIRKARIMI, Attorney JOHN BURRIS - Ruth often referred to him as her lawyer;...

NATE THURMOND, retired Golden State WARRIORS star and fiend; BILL and BELVA DAVIS MOORE; DAVID GUNTHER, ANN and JOSEPH “BUNNIE” SIMON (He was Ruth’s first customer when she operated a manicure booth at JOSE LaCROSBY’S Style House on Divisadero - Mr. Jose at the service - gave Ruth her FIRST start!

Many who came that morning with love and loss in their heart, were those who knew THE HAT LADY BEFORE she became the famous milliner, they included: BOBBIE and JEANNETTE DAWKINS; LAMONT JONES, GWENDOLYN MARKHAM, LYNNETTE AND EUGENE WHITE, Photographer PATRICA ANN WINSTON. .

Ruth’s family were heartened by the outpouring of many - sister OBIE GOFF of L.A. and son, niece attended, AND MISS MARIETTE, the lady who carried on the operation of the Fillmore shop during Ruth’s illness until is was sold in April 2012. .

HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE...LOOK FOR ME...I’LL BE THERE...
E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net