Ruth Ann Hatchett Duncan
Saturday 18th of November 1939 - Tuesday 21st of June 2022
Director *Masks optional*
Director *Masks optional*
Milward - Southland
391 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY
Director *Masks optional*
Ruth Ann Hatchett Duncan, a native of Washington County, Kentucky, died peacefully at Lexington Country Place on June 21, 2022. Survivors include husband, Dr. George Duncan; children David (Dr. Lisa Chase) of St. Augustine, FL; Steven (Michelle) of Lexington; Celeste (Matt) of Nicholasville; grandsons Thomas Duncan and Christopher Duncan; and siblings Esther Rae Money of Shelbyville; Jim (Sherry) of Springfield; and Mary (Col. Paul) Ryan of Kuttawa. She was preceded in death by parents W.B. and Polly Hatchett and a brother, Burton (Bonnie) of Lebanon.
Ruth was the eldest of five children raised on the family farm in the historic Lincoln Park area of Washington County. As a youth, she was a state winner in 4-H dairy and beef projects and was Dairy Princess. Her high school classes introduced her to home economics; the science classes helped prepare her for college. She was a volunteer 4-H sewing leader her junior and senior years for younger 4-Hers at the nearby elementary school… her first sewing-teaching experience.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics in 1961. Her first job was as Home Economist with Kentucky Utilities.
She married her college sweetheart, George Duncan, in April 1961. She made her dress and all the attendants’ dresses.
In 1969, Ruth started her own home business in drapery and clothing construction, design and consultation and continued that business until 2004. Also in 1969, she began teaching in the Fayette County Schools Adult Education Program. This began her 32 years of teaching adult classes. She accepted many opportunities to help others, gaining great joy for her students’ success. Students drove as much as three hours each way to take a class. Several of her students went on to start their own businesses in fabrics, sewing centers, tailoring, clothing, retailing and design.
In 1986, Ruth became a part-time instructor at the University of Kentucky College of Human Environmental Sciences Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles. During the next 7 years, she taught: Beginning Clothing Construction, Flat Pattern Design, Intermediate Apparel Construction, Tailoring, Clothing for Specific Needs, Interdisciplinary Approach to Dress and Introduction to Apparel Production. She also took on the brave challenge of taking college students on 5 different study tours, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.
In 1994, Ruth became an instructor at Sandy’s Sewing Center, teaching sewing classes there for 10 years.
Ruth served her community through 4-H and received the Fayette County Conrad Feltner Leadership Award and the Conrad Feltner Leadership Award for the Bluegrass Area in 1990. George and Ruth were recognized as Friends of Kentucky 4-H and inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2018. The Duncan Family was honored with the Kentucky 4-H Foundation Family Hall of Fame in 2019.
Over the years Ruth was active in the College of Human Environmental Sciences Alumni Association, Bluegrass Home Economists, Kentucky Home Economics Association, the University of Kentucky Women’s Club, Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society and UK Women in Philanthropy. She served over 20 years teaching in the church’s Primary Dept. followed by leadership in a Sr. Adult Class. Ruth had a strong faith and the family rejoices in her Homecoming.
Ruth and George care a great deal about the University of Kentucky and its students. In 1992, Ruth created the Merchandising, Apparel & Textiles Leadership Award; in 2006, it became the Ruth H. Duncan Endowed Scholarship. In 2011, Ruth and George received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Bluegrass Ag & HES Alumni Association. Ruth was recognized as an HES Centennial Laureate in 2007 and was inducted into the HES Hall of Fame in 2015. Both are life members of UK Alumni Association, the Ag and HES Alumni Association, and are University of Kentucky Fellows. They attended most UK basketball and football games from 1957 until 2015 (except during military service), and continued watching a variety of UK sports on television with synchronized radio play-by-play when declining health prevented in-person attendance.
Ruth’s collection of angels was abundant and her fabric and craft inventory extensive. Ruth accepted many opportunities to teach a class to help others; she was known for her patience. Many lives have been touched and improved because of something they have learned or received from her. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the U.K. Ruth H. Duncan Endowed Scholarship (Sturgill Philanthropy Bldg., 450 Rose St., Lexington, KY 40506), Calvary Baptist Church Sr. LOGOS fund (150 E. High St, Lexington, KY 40507), or the Kentucky 4-H Foundation (212 Scovell Hall, UK, Lexington, KY 40546).
Visitation will be held June 26, from 3 to 5 PM, and June 27 from noon to 1 PM at Milward’s – Southland Drive. Funeral service will be June 27 at 1 PM also at Milward’s. Burial at Blue Grass Memorial Gardens. Masks optional.
I am so sorry for your loss. Mothers are special people, and though I didn't know her, she sounds like an extraordinary person. God grant you peace through your loss.
Jane Clark Wheelersays
My heart felt condolences! Ruth and I had a bond that goes back a lifetime. George and family you are in my thoughts and prayers. Will talk with you soon.
Dear Celeste and Family We are so very sorry for your loss. Your mom was quite the force of nature. Even though she was ill for a long while, I imagine it is still very hard to believe, and accept, that she is gone. Our deepest condolences my friend. In sympathy, Melissa and Steve Pace
Jo-Ellen Pike Stotzsays
Love & blessings to George, David, Steve, Celeste & your families. Ruth’s Obituary read so beautifully & amazing. I consider her a humble, “gentle giant” in her field of influence to so many‼️Louie & I were blessed by having been in the young couples Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church with Ruth & George, & blessed that our children - John & Maria could grow up there with David, Steve & Celeste there🙏 I so enjoyed 2021 & many past Christmas letters from Ruth & George that helped us appreciate & love this family through the years. The treasure of knowing Ruth loved & trusted Jesus & is living forever with Him brings me great joy & comfort.
Mary Jo Carrsays
So sorry for your loss, Celeste, though to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I missed seeing her at the picnic. Give your Dad my love.
Ruth Ann was a precious lady. I admired her as a Christian woman and for all the accomplishments she earned and shared with others during her lifetime. I am very glad that I was blessed to know her during life’s journey. Prayers and hugs go out to the family.