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 â€œextraordinary capabilitiesâ€ and what a â€œperceptiveâ€ employee she was.
â€œShe did have a keen perception not only of people but of situations,â€ Conger said. â€œShe was very clearheaded, very keen, had a very keen mind.â€
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 cityâ€™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 Harperâ€™s work, Conger said.
â€œSome people involved in politics like the spotlight,â€ Conger said. â€œShe was not a ball hog at all. She would do a lot of work, not get credit, never let it bother her. She didnâ€™t get enough credit for all the things she did.â€
Respected: Much of Harperâ€™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.
â€œHer insights and her opinions were very valued,â€ Conger said. â€œPeople listened to Ruthanne. They paid attention when she spoke. She didnâ€™t say a lot, but when she did speak, it was an intelligent, insightful observation.â€
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.
â€œShe called you out if she thought you were not following the rules,â€ Conger said. â€œShe was very fair, and she had a strong sense of justice.â€
Busy: Harper never married or had children, but she lavished love on her friends and on her dog, Muffin.
â€œTo be able to say you were a friend of Ruthanne Harperâ€™s was a very special thing,â€ Conger said.
Harper always kept busy.
â€œShe had no free time,â€ Conger said. â€œShe spent every minute of every day making it count.â€
Survivors include: A sister and a brother.
The last word: â€œI had a tremendous amount of respect for her, for her success, and her life made me drive harder to be successful myself,â€ said her brother, Jim Bond Perleth. â€œHer brains, her integrity, her honesty, it all rolled into one wonderful package.â€