Skip to content

Ruth Blackburn Bivens - Obituary





Ruth Bivens of Camden, Tenn., passed away on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.  Mrs. Ruth was born on April 16, 1919, in Hustburg, Tenn., near Camden, and was the only daughter of Howser and Selma Blackburn.  She was a 74-year member of the First United Methodist Church in Camden.   She was preceded in death by her husband Franklin Julian Bivens; her son James Franklin Bivens; and her four brothers Loyd Fuller, Thomas Fuller, Fernie Blackburn, and Robert Blackburn.

She is survived by her daughters Alicia Jones and husband Ron of Franklin, Tennessee and Carolyn Lawrence and husband Ron of Lenoir City, Tennessee; five grandchildren:  Allison Scribner, Stephen Jones and wife Mandi, Michael and Pam Jones, Carole Hutchens and husband Troy, and Molly McLean and husband Steve.   She is also survived by her 12 cherished great-grandchildren:  Madison, Marissa, Logan, Nathan, Andres, Anna, James, William Katherine, Barrett, Noella, and Bennett.

In the 1940s through the early 1970s, Mrs. Ruth and Mr. Frank were very active in the ownership and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses primarily in the West Tennessee area, along with their son Jimmy. They won numerous ribbons at The Celebration; Mrs. Ruth knew horse talent when she saw it. 

They were co-owners of the nationally renowned Frank’s Café on the Tennessee River, known for the best fried catfish, hush puppies, and vinegar coleslaw in the South.  They were trailblazers for the catfish industry and led the way to the popularity that the industry now enjoys---great food, great music (on the organ by Mr. Cannon Jordan) and exceptional services were their trademarks.  Mrs. Ruth took care of the customers while Mr. Frank took exceptional care of the food preparation.  Diners drove from Nashville and Memphis and other points in between to be treated to the best dining experience the South had to offer---to governors, senators, congressmen, and many other celebrities passing on US 70.

Mrs. Ruth will always be remembered for her tireless support to the children in Camden through school and church activities from the time her children were in school and into the school years of her granddaughters.  “Nanny”, as she was known to countless teenagers, was a chauffeur, counselor, chaperone, but above all a role model for others to follow.   Her love for her family was unquestionable and will be felt throughout her remaining family far beyond their lifetimes. 

More Stories

  • **Updated Horse Show Schedule

    The Walking Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse shows... Read More
  • 42nd WHOA International Face Masks

    Previously, WHOA announced protocols for the wearing of face masks during the International. Masks are required per county, and MTSU regulations. Wearing a mask in the show ring is not required while mounted, and handlers of Weanlings, Yearlings, Model, In-Hand or, Showmanship in the show ring. Masks are required in the Warm-up arena. Read More
  • Obituary – James Wilkerson

    James C. Wilkerson, age 79 of Maryville, passed away Saturday, August 8, 2020. James was the owner and president of Serviceway Motor Freight Inc. for over 35 years. He was a member of the Jaycee’s and the Knoxville Motor Transport Association... Read More
  • Grace Baptist Church to conduct Celebration Worship Service

    The Celebration recently was contacted by Jeffrey McGee of Grace Baptist Church regarding the opportunity to continue the tradition of the Celebration worship service on Sunday morning of The Celebration. The opportunity became available after Pastor Steve Murphree decided not to conduct the service this year. Read More
  • North Carolina Championship canceled

    Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the North Carolina Championship Horse Show, scheduled for October 8-10, has been canceled for this year. The North Carolina Walking Horse Association is already beginning their planning for a better experience in 2021... Read More
  • Live from International Grand Championship

    ReporTV will provide live streaming coverage from the 42nd annual International Pleasure and Colt Grand Championship, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at 4:00 pm each evening... Read More
  • Message from the President of the Alabama Walking Horse Ladies Auxiliary

    I hope everyone is planning to attend the 9th Annual AWHLA Horse Show. From the sound of things, it looks like we are going to have a great show... Read More
  • Celebration implementing Covid-19 protocols

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration continues to make preparations for the upcoming 82nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The show will be held August 26 – September 5, 2020... Read More
  • Stake class splits announced by Celebration

    The 2020 Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion will come from one of 14 horses that entered into the two qualifying classes that will be held Saturday evening August 29, 2020. The Celebration recently announced a 10% increase in entries for the 82nd Annual Celebration to be held August 26th – September 5th... Read More
  • Celebration Live Stream available throughout show

    Do you want to be at the 82nd annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration but can’t make it? Have no fear, because live stream internet is available to anyone not wanting to miss any of the action... Read More