Ruth Naomi Cato Turton, 87, widow of Rev. Ronald A. Turton, passed away peacefully in her home in Miramar Beach, FL on June 1st with family by her side. She is survived by her daughters, Sandi Turton, and Susan Turton, Destin; her sister-in-law, Jane Cato; nieces Wanda (David) Brett; Cindy (Robert) Golden; and Robin Cato; and her husband's sister-in-law, Davida Turton and nieces and nephews, Beth (Don) Hayhoe; John (Brenda) Turton; Louise (Dennis) Ausch; Nancy (Mark) Muehlfelder; Angela (Steven) Shewchuk; and John (Jackie Gilna-Turton). She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brother, John Joseph Cato.
Ruth, known affectionately as "Ruthie," "Heavenly Patch's Wife," "The First Lady of Tea," "Rev. Ruth," "Chaplain Ruth," and "The Tea Lady," was a pastor's wife, pastor, organist, pianist, vocalist, motivational speaker, and teacher. She was known for her quick wit, and her grace, charm, and elegance. Most importantly, she was known to be a true servant of God who was always a fierce prayer warrior with an encouraging word. She was born on September 25, 1931, in McKenzie, Alabama, the first child of Rev. James William Cato and Minnie Lee Piggott Cato Pope.
She is a graduate of Emmanuel College with a degree in liberal arts and music. Ron and Ruth married in 1954. She served alongside her husband pastoring churches in Florida, Northern Virginia, Arkansas, and Iowa. During their pastorate in the Washington, D.C. area, Ruth was a guest at social functions in the White House hosted by First Ladies Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, and Rosalyn Carter. She was a certified etiquette consultant through the Washington School of Protocol, and a widely recognized expert on tea and the protocol of teas. She traveled frequently and loved traveling abroad.
She succeeded her husband as pastor of Emerald Coast Cathedral in Destin. She had the privilege of being the first female president of the Destin Ministerial Association and the first female pastor to participate in Destin's Blessing of the Fleet.
Through Ron's ministry to the International Showmen's Association, Ruth was honored to succeed him as the International Protestant Chaplain to the outdoor amusement and entertainment business, forming lifelong friendships with many carnival and circus owners and performers.
The family wishes to thank the Hospice staff for their kind, loving care.
To send flowers to Ruth's family, please visit our floral section.