Tuskegee graduate, educator dies at 84

Betsy PickleObits

Ruth Naomi Howard Joseph passed away June 8, 2019, at age 84.

Born March 31, 1935, in Greenback, she grew up in Alcoa, where she attended Charles M. Hall High School. She earned her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University and her master’s at Penn State.

She met her husband, Peter Joseph, at Tuskegee; they were married from March 26, 1960, until his death in 2007. The couple had four children: Kimberly, Kevin, Bernard and Kenneth (who died in 2009).

Mrs. Joseph’s careers included teaching in the District of Columbia public school system and working as a tax preparer. Her avocation was genealogy, and she was a member of the Greenback, Loudon County and Blount County historical societies. Mrs. Joseph was an active member of Our Lady of Fatima Church from the time she and her husband joined the parish in 1960 until her death.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the Kenneth A. Joseph Memorial Endowed Scholarship at the University of Maryland. This scholarship was endowed by the family with the intent of assisting students from inner-city Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., in attending the University of Maryland-College Park, where Ken worked until his death. More information is in Mrs. Joseph’s obituary.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at Foothills Funeral Home, Maryville. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, June 17, at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Alcoa.


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