Our friend Mike Clark, '66 has just learned Ruth passed away peacefully at home
on December 22, 2009 after a battle with throat cancer.
Now from a newspaper:
RUTH ELLEN ELWELL
Died December 27, 2009, in Winnabow, North Carolina. She was born October 25, 1935 in Muncie, Indiana. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Ball State University.
Ruth moved to California in 1960 and taught English, speech and debate at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton. In 1965 she moved to Riverside and taught English and speech at Poly High School until she retired in 1991.
In 2001 she moved to Rochester, New York, and later to North Carolina where she resided until her death.
She will be missed by her cherished companion, Anita Obler, her two brothers, Bill and Phil and their families, and her many friends.
Miss Elwell's Legacy Book online is located here:
Others will note their appreciation and affection for Miss Elwell, and I'll join them. She was my
Speech 2 teacher in 1964-1965, and in that class she mentored one particular student in all aspects of public speaking, voice projection, stage presence and movement, appropriate and pleasing eye contact, and the rest. His name was Jackson Browne, '66, who had just begun singing his songs for audiences at the Paradox. (I remember she always called him "Jack".) Ruth deserves credit as one of many who helped him launch his career, which she also did for hundreds of us in the 1960s alone.
Miss Elwell developed one of the finest high school speech and debate departments anywhere, and prepared speech and debate teams that won dozens of tournaments and other competitions. For several years in the 1960s, she was assisted by Mrs. Patricia Roberts House, also a Sunny Hills speech teacher. All of us who took Miss Elwell's classes owe her our gratitude, perhaps our attorneys, business executives, teachers, professors and leaders especially. (January 16, 2010) -- Paul Saevig, '67