A pillar of San Antonio is remembered this week as she is laid to rest. The funeral for long-time Texas State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon is Thursday.
Even as they mourn a great loss, her closest friends are also celebrating McClendon's great accomplishments.
Dozens of people in San Antonio and visitors from across the state gathered in Holy Redeemer Catholic Church Wednesday to begin saying goodbye to an incredible woman.
“She took me under her wing,” said State Representative for District 110 Toni Rose. “She gave me the institution of knowledge and she really just instilled a lot of wisdom in me.”
Rep. Rose shares more than a sorority sisterhood with Ruth Jones McClendon. The two held political accomplishments together as well. McClendon served as District 120 representative for twenty years.
At a Rosary for McClendon Wednesday, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated performed a last ritual for their sister who is now in heaven.
Another member, also following in McClendon's footsteps is Ivy Taylor. She found her place on San Antonio city leadership after McClendon left her mark there in the '90's.
“She said, are you sure you're ready to take this on because you're not just going to be [my daughter's] mama, you're gonna be mama to this entire community,” said Taylor.
McClendon passed away on December 19 after battling brain cancer. She was 74.
The mother of four was described as a loving woman who was dedicated to her faith.
“Ruth was kind of an icon here at Holy Redeemer,” said Father Kevin Fausz. “Ruth was also active here and I think really motivated and called other people to get active and to be active in the parish.”
McClendon's faith was very private and personal, according to former Texas Senator and family friend, Leticia Van de Putte.
“She surprised her family constantly, her friends, her colleagues, she was relentless,” said Van de Putte. “She was an amazing champion and a voice for this community.”
Ruth Jones McClendon's funeral is at 10 a.m. Thursday at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
A graveside service is being held at 4 p.m. at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.