For many of you you don't know her, but most of you should thank her. Ruthanne was the major reason we got the PIAC approval for Cliff Drive and Blue Valley. I would like us to start to refer to Cliff Drive as Ruthanne's, but I doubt it will happen. I feel a great loss for her, she was inspiring and had a passion that I hope I can gain as I grow.http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/1127827.html
Tribute | Ruthanne Harper kept busy with civic causes
By MEREDITH RODRIGUEZ
The Kansas City Star
Who: Ruthanne Harper, 74, of Kansas City.
When and how she died: March 29, after a long illness.
Hard worker: Harper worked as an AT&T executive for years. As a district manager, she became highly regarded, according to friend Meg Conger.
A promotion letter in 1982 mentioned her “extraordinary capabilities” and what a “perceptive” employee she was.
“She did have a keen perception not only of people but of situations,” Conger said. “She was very clearheaded, very keen, had a very keen mind.”
After retiring in 1989, Harper turned her attention to the city she loved.
Devoted to the city: A proud urban dweller, Harper spent most of her life in the city’s Northeast area. She grew up on South Myrtle Drive before moving a few blocks into a Queen Anne- style home on Gladstone Boulevard.
She became involved in organizations like Old Northeast Inc. and Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association. She advocated for Corinthian Hall to be the home of the Kansas City Museum and led renovation efforts for the museum.
Cliff Drive, the only scenic byway in an urban area of Missouri, would not have been what it is without Harper’s work, Conger said.
“Some people involved in politics like the spotlight,” Conger said. “She was not a ball hog at all. She would do a lot of work, not get credit, never let it bother her. She didn’t get enough credit for all the things she did.”
Respected: Much of Harper’s political activity involved advising people who were in positions of influence.
She was appointed to several terms on the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund Committee and the Public Improvement Advisory Committee.
“Her insights and her opinions were very valued,” Conger said. “People listened to Ruthanne. They paid attention when she spoke. She didn’t say a lot, but when she did speak, it was an intelligent, insightful observation.”
She stuck to straightforward beliefs. She believed strongly a city should offer quality basic services. She also believed in a transparent political process guided by policy, not politics.
“She called you out if she thought you were not following the rules,” Conger said. “She was very fair, and she had a strong sense of justice.”
Busy: Harper never married or had children, but she lavished love on her friends and on her dog, Muffin.
“To be able to say you were a friend of Ruthanne Harper’s was a very special thing,” Conger said.
Harper always kept busy.
“She had no free time,” Conger said. “She spent every minute of every day making it count.”
Survivors include: A sister and a brother.
The last word: “I had a tremendous amount of respect for her, for her success, and her life made me drive harder to be successful myself,” said her brother, Jim Bond Perleth. “Her brains, her integrity, her honesty, it all rolled into one wonderful package.”