Athens - Ruth Elaine Mather (ne Harris), (78), of Athens, Ohio, passed away peacefully at home on December 30th, 2021 surrounded by family after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by her children Abigail Clepper (Brian), Rachel Boyd and Aaron Mather (Jamie), long time companion Paul Wiehl, sisters Julie Leach and Rebecca Moser, and grandchildren Tristian, Elizabeth and Sam.
Elaine was born to Anna Ruth Denen and Frank Harris in 1943 in Jamestown Ohio. She graduated from Greenview High School in 1961 and then attended Ohio University, graduating in 1965 with a BS in Microbiology, as well as working on a Masters. While at OU, she met Timothy Wayne Mather, eventually marrying and beginning a family in Illinois where he taught. However, they never forgot the beautiful hills of Southeast Ohio, and eventually returned to buy an old farmhouse based on its view of the holler.
Elaine developed deep roots in Athens. She was a member of the Unitarian Universalist congregation for many years, then joined the Athens Friends Community. She continued volunteer work with new mothers as a lactation consultant through La Leche League. She worked for several years at Diagnostic Hybrids in the OU Incubation Center, as a scientific purc
haser for Ohio University then was a part of Sunpower Incorporated when it was an early start up. She eventually retired from Sunpower after years serving as their human resources manager.
Elaine grew up camping in her childhood, and continued a love of the outdoors her whole life. She loved to camp, hike and ski with her family, and to spend hours near the pond and on the trails of the family property. She was an avid biker, commuting to work for decades, and participating in multiple GOBA trips. She was a long time cross country skier, and took up downhill skiing as a midlife passion, taking several adventurous trips to resorts out west and in Canada with the Ohio Valley Ski Club.
Elaine was a lifetime feminist, and fiercely independant. She believed that all people should have the right to achieve any goal based on their own abilities. Over time she was deeply involved in local politics, as member of the League of Women Voters, a board member of SuBAMUH, President of the Athens chapter of NOW, an active member of the Single Payer Action Network (SPAN), and serving as County Democratic precinct captain. She would be so thrilled to see that America now has a woman in the executive branch.
Alheizmer's is a cruel disease that robs people of their very being in the end. The family wishes to thank Athens Hospice, and the special caregivers of Interim Health for their assistance in our mother's care. We hope that science can continue to make progress in the fight against this devastating scourge.
A Celebration of Life for Elaine will be held on Saturday, May 14th at 1:00 pm at the Athens Unitarian Fellowship, 184 Longview Heights Road, Athens, Ohio.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Athens branch of Ohio Health Hospice, or to The Athens Conservancy.
https://foundation.ohiohealth.com/programs/hospice-giving - select Athens branch