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Ruth Mae Palmer McCaskill

July 19, 2020

MAKE haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD. Psalms 70:1

Ruth Mae Palmer was born in Sumrall, Mississippi on June 7, 1927, at 8 a.m. to Y.E. and Mary Maude Nelson Palmer. Ruth was the third of four children. Her siblings include: Vivian Palmer Washington, who formerly resided in Picayune, MS with her husband Cornelius (deceased), and now resides in New Orleans, Louisiana; Robert Romeo Palmer (deceased); and Theodore “Babe” Lucile Palmer Gill (deceased). Ruth moved to Picayune at the age of two along with her family. In the early morning hours of July 19, God quietly called her to His heavenly home.

As a child, Ruth was a member of St. James A.M.E. Church and, later, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. As an adult, she served as a Sunday School teacher for adult and children’s classes. Ruth was married to Tommy Honeycutt in April 1946. To that marriage her first child, Ada Delight Honeycutt, (deceased) was born.

In January 1952, Ruth married Ulas McCaskill (deceased). To that union, three children were born: Sheila Joyce Williams of Gulfport, Mississippi; Priscilla Elizabeth McCaskill Alston (Lloyd) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Fredrick Eugene McCaskill of Stockton, California.

Ruth’s grandchildren include: Desmond LaShay Honeycutt, Eric Magee, Michael Magee, Melissa Magee, Christopher Lawrence Williams, Calvin Bernard Williams, Jackson Palmer Alston, Amber Bolar and Zachaeus McCaskill. Ruth has 19 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.

Ruth was a factory worker at the St. Regis Lumber Company and a housekeeper for a number of families for many years. She later worked as a housing manager for the Picayune Housing Authority and for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Picayune and in Laurel, Mississippi.

Four years ago, Ruth moved from Picayune to Gulfport, Mississippi to be near her daughter, Sheila. She was welcomed to Gulfport where she found many new friends, and a new church family at Grace Fellowship Church.

Always fearless and passionate, Ruth was a tireless advocate for equality in voting, education, justice, hiring practices and social services. Over the years, she served with the NAACP, the Pearl River County Democratic Committee and worked with other citizens to improve the quality of life in her community. Her example of fighting for social justice issues inspired many others to do the same. Ruth is known for her honest and frank opinions and has provided wise counsel to many people over the years.

Visitation is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 501 Weems Street in Picayune, MS. The graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 25 from 12-12:30 p.m. at the New Palestine Cemetery, 2336 Palestine Road in Picayune, MS.

COVID-19 precautions, including masking and social distancing, will be observed throughout both services. Entrusted to Brown’s Funeral Home.