Fort Worth -- It is with much love and deep sorrow that we mourn the passing of Ruth Ann Ball Neely Clements, age 97, on Monday, February 1. Born January 16, 1924 in Vernon, Texas, Ruth was the youngest of four (4) children born to Willie Catherine and Otto T. Ball. As is the case with her own children, she had the good fortune to be raised by an extraordinary mother who, by her example, instilled in Ruth and her siblings, both a strong and enduring faith and an ever-present sense of humor. These lessons made possible her ability to relish life’s joys with gratitude and endure life’s sorrows with grace. Ruth grew up in Dallas, Texas, attended North Dallas High School, entered TCU at the age of 16 and graduated in 1944. At her beloved alma mater, she began friendships that enriched and sustained her for a lifetime. After college Ruth worked in Houston, and returned to Fort Worth before marrying Roger Cleveland Neely, Jr. in 1950. Their children are Robin Ann, Roger Thomas, and twins, William Geoffry and Michael Dixon. After Roger’s death in 1959 Ruth embarked on what must have seemed at the time to be the insurmountable challenge of raising four young children alone. But she was really never alone because of the constant aid and support of her amazing mother, her siblings, and an ever-growing circle of remarkable and generous friends. As with the many challenges she faced throughout her life, she was not beaten or embittered by the challenge because of the strength acquired through faith in the unseen, the blessings of family and friends and the nourishment of laughter. In 1964, Ruth married A.M. “Buck” Clements, a truly lovely gentleman, who enthusiastically joined in the work of husband and father. Buck was another of the many gifts of joy life offered to Ruth. Together they enjoyed travelling, regular Saturday night poker games with lifelong friends, attending TCU football games and serving at University Christian Church, where Ruth was a member for more than 80 years. But what Ruth and Buck enjoyed most was Family, which was the beacon of Ruth’s life. Family dinners were frequent, lively, and delicious. Their table was usually crowded, but they always made room for more because they knew the nourishment that good food and fellowship could bring those in need of either. Professionally, Ruth was a talented interior decorator. Starting at Fort Worth’s Blackmon-Mooring, Ruth later established her solo interior decorating firm. This career was the perfect fit for a woman who loved beautiful décor, furnishings, tabletop settings and flowers. Trips to the Dallas market (with lunch!) were routine and hunting for antiques in England and France were special. She decorated many residences for friends and family. Her own house, in which she lived from 1950 until May 2018, was full of beloved treasures such as her grandfather’s “hog killing” table, a real candle chandelier and a French baby bed transformed into a buffet. More than just a house, her home was a warm and welcoming place for family and friends, both old and new, where hospitality, wisdom and good humor were dispensed in equal measure. After Buck’s death in 1988, Ruth continued all of these activities and joyfully embraced her role as grandmother to Neely Catherine. Ruth loved, and loved to share, milk chocolate, chocolate milk, butterscotch pie, chicken salad sandwiches from The Lunch Box and Nothing Bundt Cakes, and was certain that everything edible could be made better by a generous helping of whipping cream, Hellmann’s, or butter, lots of butter. Throughout her life, Ruth was sustained by the knowledge that faith, hope, and love abide, and that the greatest of these is the transformational power of love. She loved her children, her grandchild and great-grandchild, her extended family, her friends, and her church, and she made no secret about that. A woman of humor, opinion, loyalty, strength and a strong and abiding faith, Ruth outlived her parents, her siblings, her husbands, and her dear son, Bill. Left to cherish her memory are her children Robin Neely Davis (Mark), Roger Neely (Barbara) and Michael Neely; grandchild Neely Catherine Davis Douglas (Colin); great grandchild Royal Davis Douglas and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. The family extends its sincere appreciation to the staff of Brookdale Tanglewood Oaks and Community Hospice, and special thanks to Comfort Keepers and especially to Yida Sanchez for her loving care and companionship. A Celebration of Life and Committal Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 10, at her grave in Greenwood Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials, if desired, be made to the William Geoffry Neely Scholarship at Starpoint School, 2805 Stadium Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76109 or to University Christian Church, 2720 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76109.
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