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In Memoriam: Ruth Ann Kearley, Founder of Fort Worth’s Kearley and Company

In Memoriam: Ruth Ann Kearley, Founder of Fort Worth’s Kearley and Company

Fort Worth, TX, February 22, 2022 – Ruth Ann Kearley (Ruthie), founder and namesake of local marketing and branding firm, Kearley and Company, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

Ruthie, a proud, lifelong resident of Fort Worth, won the Miss Teenage Fort Worth pageant while attending high school. She graduated from Paschal High School and later completed a special Certificate Program in Advertising & Public Relations from Texas Christian University. Ruthie started her career at Fort Worth Tarrant Teachers Credit Union (now EECU), as the receptionist before being successively promoted to Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Member Services. It was there, under the leadership of her mentor Jerry Deering, that she pioneered new directions like planning and developing one of the first marketing departments for a credit union in the state of Texas.

She left EECU after 17 years to start her own credit union focused marketing and branding firm, Kearley and Company, in 1981. Ruthie served as the Founder, Owner and President of the firm until 2009, when she passed the baton to the current Owner and President, Elisa Rode. Kearley and Company continues to serve credit unions nationwide and remains a thriving, woman-owned business 41 years later.

Ruthie served in many leadership roles throughout her career including as Chairman Public Relations and Executive Board Member of Fort Worth’s Pioneer Days, Executive Board Member of the Fort Worth Stockyards Task Force, Director and President of the Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions, Founder of Credit Union Night at Six Flags Over Texas, and Member of the Credit Union Executive Society Financial Services Forum. She was recognized with multiple awards over the years including the Outstanding Service to Credit Unions Award from the Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions, the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award, and Honored as a Great Women of Texas by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine.

In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Ruthie dedicated much of her time and talents to volunteer efforts. She served on various Boards for many years including the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the Tarrant County Lighthouse for the Blind, and Jubilee Theater. In retirement, she invested deeply in efforts for the Tarrant Area Food Bank, including chairing their Empty Bowls event as well as the Chef Series for three consecutive years. Ruthie was also a lifelong member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the American Advertising Federation–Fort Worth

“Ruthie believed honesty is always the right path, fairness paves the road to successful relationships, and maintaining a realistic sense of self and sense of humor keeps you sane. Her positive spirit, her kindness, and her wisdom will be greatly missed by all,” said Elisa Rode, President of Kearley and Company.

About Kearley and Company

Founded in 1981 and tucked away in a small corner of Fort Worth, Texas, Kearley and Company serves clients from coast-to-coast. With expertise that reaches across several industries, Kearley specializes in financial institutions (credit unions, specifically) and healthcare. This strategic marketing and branding firm works day in and day out to innovate and inspire in an effort to expand business for our clients. Learn more at

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