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Ruth Elizabeth Cornett Sayers James

Nov. 8, 1922-Sept. 25, 2019

Ruth Elizabeth Cornett Sayers James was born Nov. 8, 1922, in Comers Rock, Va., and died Sept. 25, 2019. A longtime resident of the southwest Virginia mountains (Elk Creek, Blacksburg, Fairlawn, Independence) she passed away at age 96 in Pulaski, Va.

Ruth, also affectionately known as Memaw, was preceded in death by her parents, Marvin and Zollie Cornett; her husbands, Maynard H. Sayers (d.1946) and R. Vance James (d.2001); and her siblings, Lasca Stone, Dean Cornett and Stell Cornett.

With simple grace, an unmatched cooking talent, religious conviction, and an unbelievable gift of loquacious gab, she enriched the lives of all who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was known as a kind soul, an unwavering and compassionate caregiver, and a world-class worrywart to friend and family alike.

Ruth was a devoted, faithful member of Fairlawn United Methodist Church, as well as a Hercules employee for 27 years. Her sausage gravy, ham biscuits, fried chicken, green beans, pound cake, banana bread and sourdough bread were legendary. Less than ten days before she died she was making fried apple pies and crimping the edges just right.

Ruth played the organ, excelled as a stellar high school student, cheered Virginia Tech Hokies, possessed an incredible photographic memory and loved country music. Most of all, Ruth loved her family, and her joy at family gatherings, especially holidays, was contagious. Whether known as Ms. James, Ruth, Grandmaw, Mom or Memaw, all will miss her and forever remember her as an amazing and wonderful person.

Surviving family members include daughter and partner, Linda Stiner and Walter Boone of Radford, Va.; sons and daughters-in-law, Maynard and Sharon Sayers of Southern Pines, N.C., and Dennis and Anne Sayers of High Point, N.C.; grandchildren, Shannon Bruce Stosser, Sean Sayers, Robert Bruce Jr., Joel Sayers, Carla Sayers Albritton, Morgan Sayers and Kate Sayers Moser; eight great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends.

The family is receiving friends 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Fairlawn United Methodist Church. Memorial services begin at 11, with the Rev. Mark A. Miller officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Fairlawn United Methodist Church, 7590 Brandon Road, Fairlawn, VA 24141.

The family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford, Va.




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