Ruth was one of the charter members of the Ferndale Historical Society and then a long-time Museum volunteer - dating from the days in the 1970s when she was a member of the core group who initiated the Museum and later organized its displays. The daughter of the late William Rodgers, local pharmacist and owner of Rodgers' Dutch Mill, Ferndale's landmark restaurant of the 1920s and early 1930s, Ruth had first-hand knowledge of the phenomenal growth of our community for a greater part of the 20th century. This was a knowledge she enthusiastically shared with many a visitor to the Museum on Saturdays or in myriad phone calls from local history researchers throughout the week. Her "other" hobby was collecting vintage hat pins, and item whose history, she said, starkly reflected the changing role of women in American society.
Retired as attendance officer at Ferndale High School, Ruth devoted countless hours to researching and recording Ferndale history, and published, along with her Society colleagues, June Kotlarek and Gerry Kulick, Old Timers Tell It Like It Was, a compendium of reminiscences of long-time Ferndale residents. In addition to her weekly work at the Museum, Ruth spent the last two years of her life working with three colleagues in researching and writing Drayton Dimensions in Time, the 80-year history of one of Ferndale’s oldest churches, Drayton Avenue Presbyterian. She is acutely missed by her colleagues and the many visitors to the Museum. Her love of Ferndale, and her dedication to documenting its unique past, has indeed earned her a respected place in the annals of southeastern Michigan history.