Ruth Jones McClendon, who represented the east side of San Antonio in the Texas Legislature for twenty years and became a fearless fighter for liberal causes, died today of brain cancer at the age of 74, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
McClendon was forced to resign from the Texas House after the disease incapacitated her. She used a motorized scooter to get around the House during her final session in 2015.
Before being elected to the Texas House, McClendon served on the San Antonio City Council.
Ruth Elizabeth Jones McClendon was born in Houston on October 2, 1943. She attended Texas Southern University and earned a Master's Degree from Webster University in St. Louis.
She was a probation officer until she was elected to the San Antonio City Council, and then won election to the Texas House in 1996, succeeding Karyne Conley.
She was married to businessman Denver McClendon, who is a member of the Alamo Colleges board.
McClendon was a member of several key committees in the Texas House, and became a leader in efforts to increase funding for children's programs, for education, and the elderly.
She was succeeded in the Texas House by Linda Thompson, who was appointed to the seat when McClendon resigned. She was defeated in 2016 by current State Representative Barbara Gervin Hawkins.
House Speaker Joe Straus released this statement this afternoon:
“Ruth Jones McClendon was an advocate for her community, a faithful public servant and a tireless fighter for justice. She was a person of principle and decency who spoke for those whose voice is too often not heard. Every one of us who served with Ruth was inspired by her integrity and tenacity, especially in the difficult final days of her service. Julie and I will always cherish the time we spent with Ruth, and our thoughts and prayers are with her entire family as they mourn the loss of this remarkable woman.”
PHOTO' RUTH JONES MCCLENDON