Ruth Chitwood

Obituary of Ruth Anne Chitwood

Ruth Anne Reed Chitwood died at the age of 100 years old on April 22, 2023 at her home in Wytheville. She is survived by her children, Dr. W. R Chitwood, Jr., Edmund Chitwood and Dr. Patty Chitwood. Also surviving are her grandchildren Anne Merchant (Brent), Randolph Chitwood III (Paige), Emily Sprague, and Colin Sprague as well as 3 great-grandsons. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Frances Reed and nieces, nephews, great-nephews and great-nieces. She is predeceased by her husband Dr. Walter Randolph Chitwood, Sr. to whom she was married for 49 years until his death. She is also predeceased by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Reed, brothers Floyd, Joe and Ward Reed, granddaughter Dr. Sarah Sprague Roberts, and daughter-in-law Tammy Chitwood. Mrs. Ella Johnson was also a special member of the family. Ruth was born Nov. 1,1922, in Willis, Va. She attended Radford College in the pre-nursing program and then transferred to the University of Virginia School of Nursing receiving her RN degree. She met Ranny when he was a medical student at UVA and they married in the UVA Chapel in 1944. With World War II raging, she and Ranny immediately joined military life. After the war, they moved to Wytheville to join Ranny’s father “Dr. Ed” in his medical practice. Ruth Anne assisted her husband in his clinic and on house calls all over Wythe and Bland Counties in the 1950s and 60s . She had vivid memories of the polio epidemic of 1950, as Wytheville had the highest number of polio victims per capita in the US. She worked at Wythe County Community Hospital from 1972 until her retirement in 1991. Always active in community affairs, she served on the Town of Wytheville’s first Recreation Commission and Architectural Review Board. She was a founding member in 1972 of Wythe County Community Hospital Auxiliary. Ruth Anne served as a member of the Wytheville Community College Board from 1976-1985 and served as the first woman chairperson. She served on the the WCC Educational Foundation Board, established in 1981. In 1992, she was the recipient of WCC’s Distinguished Service Award. She was a co-chair of the Forging Futures Capitol Campaign for WCC and the Chitwood Nursing Lab was named after her. Mrs. Chitwood received the first Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship given by the Virginia Community College System for service to Wytheville Community College. She was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Wytheville Rotary Club and was named Outstanding Citizen of the year by the Wythe/Bland Chambers of Commerce in 2005. She was chosen for inclusion on the Civic Monument at the Wall of Honor in Withers Park in 2015. She volunteered at the Agape Food Pantry until she was 95. She has been a member of the Wytheville Presbyterian Church since 1949. Ruth loved the birds and flowers and thrived on attending social events and spending time with her family. The family will be forever grateful to Linda Fariss and Carolyn Robinson, her very kind and devoted caregivers, as well as Tina Ratliff before her own death. Wythe Hospice of SW VA also enabled her to remain in her home. Dr. John Turski, Rita Chrisman, Maranda French, Vicky Burnett, Deanna and all the wonderful hospice nurses, as well as Pam Tickle and staff at Senior Home Share provided the best care possible. Linda Plumb and Judy Willis regularly brightened her days. We were truly blessed to have such wonderful caregivers. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 26th at 11:00 am at the Wytheville Presbyterian Church with visitation at the church at 10 am, one hour before the service. Donations may be made to the Wytheville Presbyterian Church, 285 Church St; Wytheville, Va. 24382; the Agape Food Pantry , 665 W. Washington St., Wytheville; the Dr. Randolph and Ruth Anne Chitwood Educational Endowment at WCC, 1000 E. Main St, Wytheville, 24382; or Wythe Hospice of SWVA, 1155 N. 4th St, Wytheville. Online condolences can be sent to the family a Arrangements by Grubb Funeral Home