Ruth Palmer Whitlock

Ruth Palmer Whitlock of Snellville, Georgia was born on February 13, 1943 to Jimmie and Catherine Palmer in Albany, Georgia. She passed away at home surrounded by family on October 11, 2022 following treatment for ovarian cancer. She is preceded in death by her dearly loved husband George Whitlock, her beloved daughter Sharon Sunder, and her parents.

She leaves behind a family who cherished her deeply: granddaughter Devon Carter, stepson Jay Daniel Whitlock and his wife Jan Whitlock, granddaughter Lea Whitlock, grandson Robby Whitlock, sister Cathy Baxley, brother Jimmy Palmer (Darlene), brother Frank Palmer (Patricia), sisters-in-law Judy Elliott and Lynda Garland, brothers-in-law Larry Whitlock (Diana) and Roger Gillingham, godsons Steven Mehlberg and Jonathan Mehlberg, a number of lifelong friends who were always there for her, and a multitude of nieces and nephews who never failed to provide an endless stream of adoration and love. These special people gave her ample reason to be grateful for being part of what she considered the world’s best family.

In addition to the fulfillment she found in her family and friends, her work and education brought her great satisfaction. After studying at Georgia State University, Ruth eventually went on to work for the nonprofit Association of Energy Engineers for 35 years which provided her the opportunity to meet, host, and become friends with remarkable people here and around the world. In 2021, AEE established a scholarship in her name honoring her advocacy for chapter leadership, young students’ success, and women’s career empowerment. The global scholarship will ensure future young women have the resources they need to become professional engineers.

For many years she was an active member and served in leadership roles at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Norcross and Ray Memorial Presbyterian Church in Monroe. Through the Rotary Club, she and her husband were privileged to host a number of international students including Leonieke Aalders of the Netherlands and Hanne Haslum of Norway.

A vivacious adventurer who was generous beyond measure, Ruth enjoyed the ins and outs of planning travel and experiencing different cultures with her family and friends, most notably with her three grandchildren, whose European graduation trips she planned in great detail. While her passport stamps span the globe, she always loved coming home to host parties with family and friends or tend her garden, which she cared for religiously. Her legacy is one of graciousness, southern hospitality, and telling colorful stories about her full life and the memorable people she met along the way.

An informal service will be held at Yellow River Park at 3232 Juhan Rd SW in Stone Mountain on Saturday, October 22 at 10:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Ruth Whitlock Scholarship Fund ( or to the charity of your choice.

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Guestbook Entries

  1. Leonieke Aalders October 17, 2022 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    To the loveliest of lovely, to Ruth. During my year in Georgia, you became my mom-away-from-home. When I was back in the Netherlands, you were always there for me to talk to, sending emails back and forth about politics, the state of the world and arts & crafts. You’ve given me many words of wisdom over the years, some of which I could understand immediately but most of which I’m only now learning to comprehend. I was your Beautiful Dutch Daughter, and you were my brave and lovely and kind and wonderful and wise American Mom ❤️

  2. Katherine Rosenfeld October 17, 2022 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Ruth you were the light in so many lives. What a wonderful, caring, loving lady!! You made George so happy. Harvey and I truly cherished your love and friendship. Fly high Ruth!! Give our love to George! RIP!! ❤️

  3. Jennifer Ellis October 17, 2022 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    She is my Great-aunt. It broke my heart to hear the news of her passing, even though I was happy she was no longer in pain. She was a bright star in our family. Always the epitome of Southern Grace. She always had time for us kids. She would often reach out when I was going through a rough time. I will treasure my memories and miss her dearly. Until we see you again dear lady. Love you

  4. Lynda Whitlock Garland October 17, 2022 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    I have been blessed with two outstanding sister-in-laws, Ruthie and Diana. My brothers were blessed with the best. Ruth will be so missed by all. But brother George now has his Ruth with him once again. They are in heaven with my Ron. Someday day we will all be together once again. Until that time comes, take care of each other for me. Love you all.

  5. Susan & Pep Hammond October 18, 2022 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Ruth was such a wonderful and treasured friend. She and George were there for me after the loss of my first husband. We enjoyed so many great times together. Pep and I always looked forward to the chili cookouts when we had the opportunity to be with many old friends from John Wesley UMC. She was always full of joy, vivacious, caring and happy to be alive. We will miss her but are so happy she is no longer suffering and is with her precious George.
    Ruth, so glad you were a part of our lives!

  6. Steve Capel October 19, 2022 at 11:53 am - Reply

    A beautiful wife, mother grandmother. You will be missed.

  7. Jan D Pennington October 19, 2022 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I will miss my sweet, beautiful, kind friend. Beautiful on the inside and out!!!

  8. Holly Lanford October 19, 2022 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Ruth always brought a smile to everyone’s face! She will truly be missed by the Lanford family, and everyone else she touched in her wonderful lifetime

  9. Nick Katsiotis October 19, 2022 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    May Ruth’s memory and life be eternal. All the 19th Company USNA brother’s of Jay Whitlock send our prayers to you all. God bless Ruth!

  10. Terri Capel October 21, 2022 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Ruth was a wonderful person. She and George raised a beautiful granddaughter, Devon. I will thank her for that someday. Godspeed Ruth!

  11. ginger October 23, 2022 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Ruth, this is really hard…we have been cousins over 70 years..never got to spend too much time together because of geography, but i always loved you….go fly!!!!

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