OBITUARY

Ruth Ryner Lay

December 26, 1925September 7, 2013
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Ruth Lewis Ryner Lay, 87 of Atlanta passed peacefully in her sleep September 7, 2013. Ruth was pre-deceased by her parents, Ruth and James Ryner and her loving husband of 60 years Joseph E Lay. She is survived by her daughter Ruth Lewis Lay of Alpharetta,her brother James B Ryner of Augusta, and cousin Kirby Lewis Colson of South Carolina. Ruth began her tennis career as a youngster where she played on her high School team in Vienna, GA, on red clay courts, where she grew up. These courts were eventually named after her. She continued her tennis career at Agnes Scott College, Decatur GA. After marriage to Joe they settled in Atlanta. Ruth began her volunteerism in the 1950’s and was instrumental in starting the first ALTA tennis leagues. She expanded her role with volunteer positions with USTA Georgia and USTA Southern, and eventually became a long-time volunteer with the USTA. Ruth began mentoring and coaching of some of the most promising Junior players in Georgia and the South. She was also active in getting College Scholarships for some 50 junior players to colleges throughout the Nation. She had seven players named All American in the NCAA 1, 2, 3, and NAIA. She began her teaching Career at the Cumberland Indoor Tennis Center, the former Racket Club of the South, Horseshoe Bend Tennis Center, Crooked Creek Tennis Center and was Director of Tennis at Alpharetta North Park Tennis Center. Ruth had been a USPTA Certified Tennis Professional since 1987. She had accomplished the professional Certification of USPTA 1. Pryor to that time she was a top ranked player locally in Atlanta, Georgia and the South. She played the “circuit” from her 30’s up into her 60’s. She traveled to Wimbledon 9 times, The US Open when it was at the West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills in the 1950’s, then every year after, over to Flushing Meadow to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center until 2009. Ruth has been honored with many honors including; ALTA Lifetime Member for Volunteer Service, Hall of Fame for both the GTA and the Southern Associations, USTA National Service Bowl “to the player who yearly makes the most notable contribution to the sportsmanship, fellowship and service to tennis”, STA Touchstone Trophy for “sportsmanship and service by a Senior Player to Southern Tennis”, STA Jacobs Bowl for “outstanding play and service to Southern Tennis”, Who’s Who of American Women, International Who’s Who of Tennis. The GTA created the Ruth Ryner Lay service award for lifelong contributions to the service of tennis in Georgia. Ruth was the first recipient of this award, that is now given annually . Ruth was installed in the USPTA Southern Division Hall of Fame and received the USPTA Pride of the South Award for achieving excellence in performing the duties of a USPTA Tennis Professional. Her service to the game in the promotion of women’s tennis is probably unequaled. She was Chairman of the Women’s and Girl’s Committee of the USTA, the Junior Wightman and Junior Federation Cup Committees, Chairperson for International Play for Juniors, Collegiate, and Amateur Women. She was a member of the Wightman Cup, Federation Cup, Maureen Connally Brinker Cup and U. S. Olympic Committees. She served on the USTA Service Bowl Committee, GTA Board of Directors, Junior and Player Development Committees, STA Collegiate Committees, USTA Federation Cup Committee, and the Georgia Tennis Patrons. While not at the tennis courts Ruth loved reading a good book, watching football, basketball, tennis and good movies on TV. Travel was a favorite, also. In her spare time she would often be seen scoping out any new junior talent on local courts, or watching the Atlanta Braves batting and telling us what they were doing wrong on their swings! She was constantly watching tennis on TV and watching the players’ footwork and letting us know how they could be better! She was always coaching! A celebration of Life service will be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 11:00 Am at the Chapel of Roswell Funeral Home with Rev. Nancy Lane officiating. Interment will be held that afternoon at 3:00 PM at the Vienna Public Cemetery in Vienna GA. The family will receive friends Monday , Sept 9 at 2:00 PM until 4:00 Pm and at 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Roswell Funeral Home. Roswell funeral is in charge of arrangements

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, September 9, 2013

  • Visitation

    Monday, September 9, 2013

  • Celebration of Life Service

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

  • Burial

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Memories

Ruth Ryner Lay

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October 19, 2013

Sweet Lewis....I found this online. Though I didn't know your Mom, I know and will always love you. Kindest thoughts are with you, old friend. xoxo Henni Towler Corbin

Pam Hatch

September 20, 2013

So sorry to hear of Ruth's passing, she was a great ambassador for tennis. Lewis, my prayers are you and your family.

Pam Hatch

September 13, 2013

Lewis,

Jim and I just heard the news this morning while visiting in New York. As you know, your Mom was very instrumental in our daughter, Allyson's tennis career. We have so many fond memories traveling with your Mom to watch Allyson play. She was a great lady and will always remain very close to our hearts.

With love,

Glenn and Jim Kincaid

September 12, 2013

Lewis, so sorry to hear about your Mom.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Cathy and MaryLouise

September 12, 2013

To the family of Ms. Lay
May you find peace as you cherish the fond memories of your dear loved one.

Lynn Elliott

September 11, 2013

Dear Lewis,

What a full life your mother had with many accomplishments along the way. She made her mark on the tennis world in Atlanta as serious recreation sports were on the rise. This picture is how I think of your mom.

Best,
Lynn

September 11, 2013

My condolences to Ms. Ruth Lay's family, may the God of peace comfort you at this time in your life. 1Cor. 1:3,4

Atlanta, Ga.

Evan Krug

September 10, 2013

My heart goes out to you as you all try to cope with the loss of an amazing woman. I hope you're able make it through these trying times. Revilation 21:4 gives us a hope for the future. Please email me if you want to talk about anything

September 10, 2013

To the family of Ruth (Ryner) Lay, Pleasant sayings are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and a healing to the bones. (Pr 16:24)

Lawrenveville, GA

Marshall Happer

September 10, 2013

Ruth was a wonderful lady and was for many, many years the soul of the STA and Southern Tennis. She was an important pioneer in the development and mentoring of talented young ladies for our Sport for which she earned and received national recognition. I will miss her and will always have my memories of working with her. My deepest sympathy to Lewis and the family.

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