ruth greeneA Tribute to Ruth Ann Whitby Greene

Beloved RCC Instructor Ruth Greene passed away on August 13, 2020.

Would you kindly share any memories or thoughts about Ruth?

Thank you.

Please use this form to share your thoughts and memories of Ruth [Google Form]



Ruth was a great mentor who shared her wisdom and love for teaching excellence. I will always remember her thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and jovial attitude. She will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with Michael and the whole family.

It seems like yesterday when I began working on projects with Ruth Greene. Almost 25 years have passed and, just recently, we had another conversation on how to work together to help our students succeed. Ruth’s giving spirit was unbounded and I felt energized with creativity and compassion when working with her. This, I believe, is a universal feeling among RCC colleagues and community friends.

As co-instructors, colleagues, and friends, we shared experiences with the RCC Leadership Institute (teaching Northern Neck Regional Jail and Tides Inn employees), the VCCS Career Switchers (future teachers across Virginia), New Horizons presentations, and RCC courses in communication, education, and business. She made a positive, meaningful impact with so many people. Her work with the regional jail resulted in their creation of a service award in her name. She was praised for her leadership in system-wide activities, and her students loved her.

Her smiling face, warm, welcoming words, and love of God brought everyone to her door. I have very few memories of my RCC career that don’t include Ruth Greene. I am so thankful to have been one of those included in her world, even for what seems like such a short time. Rest in peace, our dear friend.

I had the good fortune of meeting Ruth through our mutual friend, Karen Newtzie. Ruth was a consummate professional educator. She was knowledgeable, kind, helpful, and supportive. It was apparent that Ruth cared deeply about all students. Ruth’s legacy will continue to shine through her students. She was gem!

Ruth was one of the first faculty members I met when I started at RCC. She was always so full of ideas on how to promote RCC and would connect me with students and alumni to share their stories with the community. “You need to speak to this person,” “you need to speak to that person”! And, I would! Ruth was a truly an inspiration to all and a friend to everyone. She was special and she will be greatly missed.

I was fortunate to meet Ruth when she served on the Chancellor’s Faculty Advisory Committee. We soon became good friends and confidants. Ruth was an intelligent, dedicated, and gracious lady. She loved working with students and I know that she made a great difference in so many of their lives. I will miss her warm smile and caring attitude toward everyone she met. There is a great hole in our lives now that we can no longer be with her.

I will always have fond memories of Ruth. Her beautiful smile, big hugs, gentle spirit and kindness will live in my heart forever. Heaven has gained an Angel!

I first met Ruth 7 years ago when I came to work at RCC after 36 years in higher education at large universities. As a guest lecturer in her classes I was amazed to see how Ruth engaged every student in discussion at the outset of each class and “broke the ice” so that students not only participated in class discussions, but also got to know each other, better ensuring their engagement and sense of belonging. I think Ruth had an unusual gift for seeing beyond the subjects she was teaching to thinking about the social elements needed for her students to succeed in college and in life. I also felt, as her colleague, that Ruth was my coach and cheerleader as well, as she would always respond with enthusiasm to any announcement I shared with RCC’s community. We were all so lucky at RCC to get to have Ruth as our colleague and friend and we will never forget her.

Ruth was one of the first to officially welcome me to RCC. She made sure I had an email waiting for me on my first day. She routinely sent words of encouragement and support. Her infectious smile and her love of students and the mission of the College will be greatly missed. She was a beacon of hope and light for us all!

I will miss her smile and enthusiasm for RCC. So many times she assisted me with my technology challenges, mentoring of adjuncts, encouragement of students facing challenges. I will eat a pack of Smarties as I remember Ruth.

I knew Ruth as a legend before I knew her as a person. It’s safe to say her reputation preceded her in the VCCS. She was a pioneering innovator in faculty professional development, someone those of us at other VCCS institutions admired greatly. For twenty years, I enjoyed casual interactions with her at New Horizons, and I was thrilled at the prospect of having her as a direct colleague starting last year. When I arrived at RCC last August, she was one of the first people to set up an appointment with me, just so we could get to know each other a little better. I have a treasured photo of her working with a small group of Gloucester HS students last December I’ll share separately with Dr. Kennedy. My last memory of direct interaction with Ruth was via Zoom, in May, when she helped to lead a virtual orientation for our Lancaster HS ECA students who were about to embark on her ITE 119. She was in her element, both nurturing and demanding, telling these emerging first-time college students she would support them every step of the way as long as they met her half way.

Ruth was the heart of RCC, she cared about everyone she came into contact with at the college. She was also a dreamer, who was not afraid to try something new if it would help her students. Ruth always greeted me with “Hey Buddy” and then immediately asked about me and my family. I will miss her bright smile, her focus on her students and her friendship.

Ruth was, and will always be, a treasure to me. I did not know her well, but I hoped to. I am relatively new to RCC, and have had a less than smooth transition to this school and area of the state. Ruth was especially kind to me. Her office was right across from mine, and she never failed to say hello, or help make me feel included. I truly feel the loss of not getting to know her better, for I know I would have been deeply enriched by her friendship. She is the only colleague that has met some of my family members, and she introduced me to several areas of interest in Montross. She took the time to sit with me and just talk on several occasions. I can’t tell you how much that means to someone who is new. I am so thankful and grateful that she was here my first year at RCC. She will be so, very missed.

Ruth’s legacy has been woven into the lives of all who knew her. Remembering Ruth brings a smile with the tears. Ruth has been an integral part of my life for many years, sharing not only her wealth of technical knowledge but sharing of herself. She gave to everyone that knew her and to many that did not. Her patience, kindness, compassion and empathy were evident in everything she did. Ruth genuinely cared about people and strove to be a friend to all and our lives have been enriched for having known her. We have the memories of her big smile and great hugs and will keep her close in our hearts.

Such a wonderful person; who was always willing to go above and beyond to help colleagues and her students. She was the type of instructor who would come to the counselors and ask for help in reaching a student that she had not heard from or who was having issues in class. She cared deeply about her colleagues and students. Her classes were always the first to fill up and because of her excellent teaching ability; I made sure my own son took her class this summer!

Ruth was kind and generous. She was also wholesome and understanding. You could tell she had a goal to help everyone she could. She made a huge impact to Rappahannock Community College. Not only with her ability to create smiles with her silly quirky expressions, but her compassion to teach at the school. She will be greatly missed. Fly high with the butterflies and birds, Ruth!

Seeing this smiling picture of Ruth still hurts. She was lovely inside and out, and I feel this loss deeply. Coming inside RCC and knowing she won’t be there for me to run by her office to say hello or leave a note on her message board is unthinkable right now! Ruth was a people person. She loved helping and guiding students, new faculty, and anybody who was in need. The Tech Summits she was a part of ‘back in the day’ were some of the best times; learning new technology, hearing great speakers, collaborating with her, looking forward to a great catered meal! She was so much smarter than she ever knew. She could be in charge, but she would just as easily let someone else take the lead and she would be the helper in the background. She was so respected and so revered by her students. Ruth was more than a mentor and colleague to me, she was my dearest friend. I could count on her to be there for me when I needed her. She would tell me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. Her guidance with my online classes for the last 15 years was beyond helpful. To say I’ll miss her is an understatement. I still can’t digest that she is gone to her heavenly reward, but when I get down over her not being here, I will try to envision her with her Savior, her precious grandparents (Mama and Daddy), and know she’ll be waiting for me with that big, all-embracing hug! Proverbs says that a friend loveth at all times. Ruth loved me at all times. I loved her. Until we meet again . . . .

What is most special about Ruth is that she loved and cared for so many. She always took time to right kind notes of thanks and encouragement to many. Her positive outlook and genuine smile will live in my heart forever.

How does one commemorate a true light in this dark world? Ruth Greene kept me in her ‘concerned’ radar throughout my divorce and health struggles. Her thoughtful contacts, whether in person, or via email, text or chat often turned a difficult situation into one I could more easily handle. Her technological expertise helped an untrained faculty member to ride behind the wave fronts she and others created at RCC to keep this college at the forefront of instructional technology use. She answered whatever questions I had whether briefly, or at times step-by-step, in order for me to understand. I could not be as technologically proficient as I am without her continued guidance throughout my RCC career. I will miss her laughter and her smile…

RCC Student Support Fund in Memory of Ruth Greene

The Rappahannock Community College family has named a fund at the RCC Educational Foundation in memory of Ruth. Ruth served RCC and its students for more than 20 years, as both a workforce trainer and faculty member. She had a passion for individualized instruction and advising and impacted the lives of scores of students in her long career. In 2019, Ruth established a fund at the RCC Educational Foundation in memory of her mother, Dorothy D. Whitby, and faithfully donated to it each month.  She asked community members to donate to it when her mother passed away in January 2019. These donations now act as the seed to grow the Ruth Ann Whitby Greene Memorial Fund.

The Fund is a need-based account that provides emergency assistance to students when other resources are not available.  As an instructor and mentor, Ruth saw how small, emergency assistance grants could help with flat tires, overdue electric bills, or  class books and make a big impact on whether a student could attend class or not. 

How you can support the Ruth Ann Whitby Greene Memorial Fund:

Mail a check to:  RCC Educational Foundation, PO Box 923, Warsaw, VA  22572

Or, online:

Please write “Ruth Greene” in the memo line/designation box.

Thank you.