Alumna Celebrates 100th Birthday
The College of Education and Health Professions joined the family and friends of University of Arkansas alumna Ruth M. Haymon in wishing her a happy 100th birthday on Nov. 6.
Ruth M. Haymon
Ruth M. Haymon
The Duncanville, Texas, resident taught in Arkansas schools for 38 years. She earned a Master of Education degree in elementary education from the University of Arkansas. Her undergraduate degree in home economics was from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
"Mrs. Haymon has had a wonderful career teaching the children of Arkansas," said Tom Smith, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. "We want to take the opportunity of her 100th birthday to celebrate her lifetime of accomplishments and express our appreciation for her service to our state. She is the perfect example of a strong woman dedicated to educating herself and others, and she has spent much of her life serving others in her church and her community. We think she is an excellent role model for our students in education programs today."
The Haymon family has planned a reception at her church and a family celebration for her this weekend.
Mrs. Haymon's daughter Gwendolyn Bullock-Flores composed a biography of her mother, with the assistance of Mrs. Haymon and other family members:
Ruth M. Haymon of Duncanville, Texas, will celebrate her 100th birthday, Nov. 6, 2010. Ruth, the eldest of eight children, and the youngest sister are the surviving siblings.
Ruth Mary Evans was born Nov. 6, 1910, in Woodruff County, Cotton Plant, Ark., the firstborn of Ruth Cowan Evans and Marion Francis Evans. Her father, Marion Evans, a tailor, died when Ruth was 6 years old. Her grandfather, Samuel Cowan, became her father figure. Her mother, Ruth Evans, during her lifetime, was a musician, a teacher and at one time a postmaster in Fargo, Ark.
Ruth’s grandfather, Samuel Rufus Cowan, was a freed slave who traveled from North Carolina to Arkansas seeking his missing sister. When he did not find his sister, he decided to settle in Cotton Plant, where he accumulated land, a cotton gin, and later a grocery store. Ruth Mary Evans grew up in a close-knit and loving family that encouraged Christian living, strong values, a good education and sound work ethics. In addition to her parents, her grandfather was an influential role model who showered her with encouragement and wisdom. Today, she still shares some of the memories and experiences she had with her grandfather.
Ruth started her higher education during the Depression era at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, later changed to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This college was the only state-supported higher education institution for blacks. She finished her freshman year and was a straight “A” student. To further her education, she taught school and attended college during the summer sessions.
After completing her studies at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (1931-1954), she obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in home economics. Later in her teaching career, she attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville during the summers and acquired her Master of Education Degree in elementary education. Ruth retired in 1972 after teaching 38 years in various school districts in Arkansas.
Ruth first married Reuben D. Johnson of Fordyce, Ark. From that marriage were three living children. Her second marriage was to Maceo Haymon of Columbia County (Friendship Community), Ark., joining his eight living children to the family. Ruth had one son, the youngest of all the children, from that marriage. As of this date, Ruth has six sons and six daughters and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren in her combined family.
Ruth is known as a Christian woman and has always been involved in church, community, school and humanitarian activities. She was active in her church and served as a Sunday school as well as Vacation Bible School teacher and provided Christian literature and other materials to the church. She also served as the musician for the church and church choir for many years. Ruth was active in quilting circles for those who needed warmth for the winter and canning vegetables at the school cannery for those in the community who brought their vegetables and meat to be canned.
Ruth is respectfully known as “Mother Haymon.” Those who have met “Mother Haymon” look to her for advice, words of wisdom from the Bible and prayers, and think of her as an excellent teacher, a good listener, a great role model and a godly woman who never complains.
Ruth’s favorite activities are morning devotions, Bible study (she also uses a computer to listen to sermons on the Internet), crossword puzzles, Sudoku, scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, cryptograms and other types of puzzles. She is an avid reader of non-fiction Christian literature as well as fiction Christian novels.
She strives to walk three days a week, with her walker, at the recreation center. She enjoys attending church every Sunday, unless she is visiting, and sending birthday cards to family members and the members of the Sunday school class. She loves to travel, especially to visit with her children and their families and other relatives that live in other states.