Ruth Sugg Coward

ruth coward

September 14, 1922 ~ August 11, 2021

Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Cary, NC

Ruth Sugg Coward, 98, beloved mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother died peacefully Wednesday August 11, 2021, at Glenaire retirement community in Cary, NC.

Ruth was born on September 14, 1922, in Asheville to the late Joseph Leo Sugg and Genevieve Felthaus Sugg. She is predeceased by her husband of almost 70 years, James Bernard Coward who died in 2015. She is also predeceased by her siblings, Jeanne Sugg Brandon, Joseph Leo Sugg Jr, and John E Sugg.

Ruth graduated from Lee H. Edwards, now Asheville High School, in 1939. She began work after high school, before WWII, at Postal Accounts in Asheville. Ruth married James B. Coward after his homecoming from WWII in 1946. She lived in Western NC, including Canton, NC, for many years prior to moving to the Raleigh-Durham, NC, area to be closer to a daughter.

A dedicated and loving mother and homemaker, she is survived by four children: Jane Coward Sales and husband Robert Sales of Savannah, GA; Beth Coward Lindsey and significant other John Hribar, of Durham, NC; James Bernard Coward, Jr and wife Linda Page of Old Lyme, CT; and John Matthew Coward and wife Jasmine Baleva Coward, of Sierra Madre, CA. She is also survived by two well-loved grandchildren, Anna Sales Kelly and husband Charles Kelly, of Savannah, GA, and Robert Alexander Sales and wife Chantal Desplanques Sales, of Wellington, FL; as well as two beloved great-grandchildren, Evan and Emery Sales, ages 11 and 14. She will be missed as well by a large extended family including many nieces and nephews and their spouses.

A Roman Catholic funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, September, 14, 2021 at 10:00 am in the Basilica of St Lawrence in Asheville, where family were long-time members. The family will receive friends at a celebration of life to be held at the community center at 12 Southcliff Parkway in Fairview, NC starting at 12:00 noon following the service.

In lieu of flowers, Ruth asked before her death that any contributions be made to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105


Funeral Mass: September 14, 2021 10:00 am

Basilica of St. Lawrence DM
97 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801


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  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I was good friends with Hazel & John Sugg for many years. They helped lead my mother and father, then later me, to the Church.

  2. My sincere condolence to the family. Ruth and Bernard were close friends to me and my husband Jack Suits. We shared many good times together. She will be missed.
    Jean Suits

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