Judge Ruth (Corley) Closs, 85, of Madisonville, lovingly referred to her family as “Booter,” passed away on Sunday, July 31, 2016, in Huntsville. A celebration of her life is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Madisonville, with Lanier Stevens officiating. Burial will follow at Allphin Cemetery in Madisonville. A visitation is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Day Funeral Home Chapel in Madisonville.
Ruth Corley was born on March 19, 1931, in Elwood, to Sherman and Mary (Marsh) Corley and was the youngest of five children. She graduated from Madisonville High School and graduated with a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston Teacher’s College, which is now known as Sam Houston State University. While at Sam Houston, Ruth met and married a U.S. Marine, James Truman (J.T.) Closs. They shared a love and marriage that lasted 50 years until he was called home to the Lord in 2000.
Soon after marriage, the couple was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and while stationed there, they welcomed their only daughter, Cathy Darlene, into the world on Dec. 20, 1953. Six weeks later, they moved back to Texas and called Baytown their home for the next few years, and it was here where Ruth began her teaching career, which lasted 37 years.
The family decided Madisonville was calling, and they moved home. Ruth taught for MCISD for 31 years where she shared her passion of history, teaching, and cherishing her students before retiring.
Retirement wasn’t for Ruth, and soon after, she held the office of City Judge and Justice of the Peace for the next 16 years. She was a firm believer in second chances and practiced such while on the bench. While in office, Judge Closs built a bond and love for the Madisonville Police Department and they became her “boys” while also working closely with the Madisonville Sheriff’s Departments and the Madisonville Fire Department. After turning 80, she retired on June 1, 2011, and spent the remainder of her life at home enjoying her family.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and her siblings, Larry Corley, Wilborn Corley, Winifred Corley Grivich and Rose Corley Peck. She is survived by her daughter, Cathy Closs Parker and her husband, Clyde Parker Jr.; her grandchildren, Mindy Parker Crouch and her husband, Trant, Amie Parker Scott and her husband, Dwain, and Jameson “Bud” Parker and his wife, Samantha; several great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
Serving as pallbearers are Clyde Parker, Jameson “Bud” Parker, Trant Crouch, Dwain Scott, Pat Grivich and Marshall Clouser. Serving as honorary pallbearers are Curtis Banks, Chief George Sweetin, Ivan Linebaugh, Larry Peck, Sonny Knight and John Hardy.