Ruby Hortense Bemse Robinson, 85, of Portsmouth, died Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at Hill View Health Care. She was born October 17, 1932 in Portsmouth to the late Edward C. Bemse and Pearl Alice Snell Bemse Pass.
A graduate of Portsmouth High School, she received her formal education at Central State University and the Ohio State University. Although her professional pursuit was secondary education, social work became her passion and life’s work.
She was a lifelong member of Pleasant Green Baptist Church where she served in many capacities. She was also an active member in the Oakley Full Baptist Church while residing in Columbus.
Hortense worked for the Scioto County Community Action Organization and was name an Outstanding Citizen by Portsmouth City Council. She was the first female social services counselor in a maximum security Ohio prison, Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, where she served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. She worked for nearly 25 years for Catholic Social Services in Columbus. The Holy Rosary Shelter for homeless women and children, where she served as program manager, was named one of President George H. W. Bush’s Points of Light.
She was also a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Columbus chapter, Sheba Chapter O.E.S., and the Alcohol, Drug Addition, Mental Health Services Board of Adams, Lawrence and Scioto Counties.
She is survived by her daughter, Angela Kaye (Kim) Rodgers of Virginia Beach, VA; two granddaughters, Cicely B. Rodgers of Portland, OR and Kimberly A. Rodgers of Washington, DC; and niece and nephews, Rachel Ashburn Mallory, James Jones and Edward Jones.
Order of Eastern Star Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Living Faith Temple, followed by funeral services at 11:30 p.m. with Rev. Clarence Parker and Bishop Kenneth Lisath officiating.
The family will receive friends at Living Faith Temple from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday. Arrangements are under the direction of the Ralph F. Scott Funeral Home in Portsmouth.