Ruth Ann Beltzhoover Craft, 72, of New Bern, formerly of Warrenton and Wilmington, died Jan. 5 at home. The family will receive friends at Cotten Funeral Home, 2201 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 1 p.m. A Memorial Service will follow at the funeral home at 2 p.m.

Ruth Ann was born in Toledo, Ohio, on Sept. 19, 1949, to George Henry and Vivian Louise Beltzhoover. She is survived by two children, Sarah Michelle Craft Draffin (Patrick) of the home and Stacey Craft Coffman of Wake Forest; four grandchildren, Berkeley Draffin, Waverly Draffin, Maggie Coffman and Logan Coffman; and two siblings, George Beltzhoover of Hiram, Ga., and Barbara Hinkle of Addison, Mich.

Ruth Ann will be remembered as a strong, independent woman who could make or do anything — from baking to building, creative to technical, and tough to gentle. She paved many paths and established strong priorities for her family, including a focus on education, commitment to family, love of travel and showing up for people. Ruth Ann was a single mom, but still managed to always show up as second mom, friend, and sister to so many people with whom she lived life. She was the regular connection to family and friends met all over the world throughout all stages of her life — believing we need each other in this life journey. Ruth Ann was positive and kind, consistent and determined, and was proud to be direct, honest and forthcoming with her opinion (you are smirking right now if you know Ruth Ann’s blunt honesty!).

Through her love and decades of engagement with P.E.O., Girl Scouts, local schools and education groups, extensive traveling and living many years abroad, Ruth Ann was connected to countless people; to her, people are what made life. Her smile and laugh, strength and support, and endless, unconditional love will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to P.E.O. Chapter AR, 1203 Amber Pines Drive, Leland NC 28451, the American Cancer Society or your favorite local school.