Cover photo for Ruth Warren Symington's Obituary
Ruth Warren Symington Profile Photo
1929 Ruth 2020

Ruth Warren Symington

December 25, 1929 — December 4, 2020

Ruth Warren Symington died peacefully at her home in Atlanta, GA on December 4, 2020. She was born at Fort Sheridan in Lake Forest, Il and was the youngest of four children – June, John, Bill, and Ruth. Her parents were Colonel and Mrs. John Wesley Warren, USAF. Ruth grew up on various Air Force bases as her father was moved to new assignments. At 19, Ruth graduated from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL. Following in her father’s footsteps, she joined the Air Force in 1950, at age 21, and immediately entered Officer Candidate School (OCS). She finished first academically in her highly competitive, co-ed class of 187 cadets, graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant.

She married Macduff Symington from Baltimore, MD, also a 2nd Lieutenant, in 1951 (divorced late 1980’s). After leaving the Air Force, they had four children – Jean, Frank, Bailey, Louise – and became regular contenders in their clubs’ mixed doubles tennis and paddle tennis tournaments. Ruth began teaching middle school science at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA in 1966. She enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania in 1969 and earned a Masters in Science Education. She returned to The Shipley School in 1970 to teach high school biology, while taking summer courses in marine biology, vertebrate anatomy and physiology, immunology, geology, and science education. She became Head of the Science Department in the late 1970’s, teaching Advanced Placement biology and taking students on multiple one-month intensives in the Virgin Islands for marine biology studies. In the early 1980’s, Ruth was chosen to participate in a Fulbright teacher exchange program, where she taught science in Birmingham, England for a year while her English counterpart took her place at The Shipley School.

Ruth retired in 1994, traveled extensively around the world, and moved to Atlanta in 2004. Always an avid bridge player, taking after her parents who played competitively, during the next 10 years she earned her Bronze Life Master designation.

She is survived by daughter Jean Symington Craig and son-in-law Dan Craig; son Frank Wesley Symington and two granddaughters Piper Elmas Symington and Blair Çağla Symington.; daughter Grace Bailey Symington; and daughter Louise Macduff Symington.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in support of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church – Atlanta. To donate in Ruth’s memory, please visit:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Warren Symington, please visit our flower store.


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