Chicago native, educator Ruth Robertson dies at 89

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Ruth Robertson

Ruth Leola Robertson, born October 20,1929 in Chicago who remained a lifelong resident of the city, has died. She was 89.

Robertson, the second of three children born to Zedrick Braden Sr., and Bernice Braden grew up in an extended family that included her father’s cousins Kayola and Edward Williams, who helped raise her.

An educational prodigy, she attended Forestville Elementary School, graduating from the 8th grade at the age of 11. Robertson then began a tradition she would pass on to her children, attending Lindblom Technical High School. She graduated from Lindblom at age 15.

Robertson received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago, graduating at 18 with a major in Mathematics. At that time, she was the second youngest graduate in the University’s history.

Given her age, she found it difficult to obtain meaningful employment. She therefore enrolled in culinary school after college. She later secured employment with Illinois Bell Telephone Company and was employed by the company until the birth of her first child.

At an early age she affiliated with Carter Temple CME Church; it was there Robertson met her husband-to-be, Fay L. Robertson. They were introduced when Fay came to worship at Carter Temple and married in 1954. Two children were born during their marriage. She and Fay were members of the Black Bottoms Bridge Club for many years. He preceded her in death in 2009.

After several years as a stay at home wife and mother, Robertson returned to school for a teaching certificate. Beginning in 1968, she began a teaching career that lasted approximately 25 years. During that period, she also earned a Master of Science in Education. She culminated her career as principal of Ruggles Elementary School.

She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Robertson had a warm and gracious personality but was no pushover. She diplomatically communicated when she felt strongly about an issue. She was known as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and godmother, and enjoyed spending time with her husband and family, entertaining especially during the holidays, where she demonstrated her baking skills often presenting baked goods as gifts. An excellent seamstress as well, Robertson fashioned clothes for her children rivaling those found in department stores.

Ruth Robertson is survived by her daughter Lisa Kay Robertson, son Jeffrey Dwayne Robertson, two grandchildren and one brother.

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