SAN ANTONIO – Former state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, of San Antonio, was laid to rest Thursday.
McClendon died Dec. 19 at the age of 74. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. A graveside service followed at Texas State Cemetery.
McClendon served in public office for nearly 20 years. She served District 120 in the Texas House before retiring in January 2016.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to the Ruth Jones McClendon Scholarship Fund at St. Philip's College.
Before serving District 120, McClendon was a San Antonio City Council member from June 1993 to August 1996.
Health problems forced McClendon to use a motorized wheelchair throughout the 2015 legislative session.
State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, who won the District 120 seat after McClendon announced her retirement, said she met with the lawmaker shortly before taking office.
Gervin-Hawkins said while McClendon could not communicate very well at that point, she did hold her hand and entrusted her with the mission to continue to work for her district.
She added that McClendon was a strong, decisive voice for the East Side community and a great example to young people.
“Her motivation was to improve the quality of life for the people of the district,” Gervin-Hawkins said. “I want to be the one who carries her light into the future in terms of what she's been able to accomplish.”
In February 2017, St. Philip’s College dedicated an exhibit put together by artifacts McClendon donated from her years in office.
Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert said he is working to name a street after McClendon, which would be located off Interstate 10 between Martin Luther King Drive and East Houston Street on the grounds of the new Childsafe Building.