RUTH CHATLOS TRENCHER – Celebration of Life

Ruth Chatlos Trencher

March 14, 1939-May 26, 2023

Ruth Chatlos Trencher died on March 26, 2023, in her home in Miami, with family at her side. She was 84.

Born in Melbourne, Florida, on March 14, 1939, Ruth Elizabeth Chatlos was the first of six children of Paul Chatlos and Evelyn Brunson Chatlos. Early in her life, Ruth lived in Brevard and then Miami-Dade County. In the early 1950s the family settled in North Miami Beach. Ruth lived in the Miami area for most of the rest of her life.

In the late 1960s, the mother of three young children, Ruth attended Florida Atlantic University, getting her B.A. in teacher education. She then taught at several schools in Miami-Dade, the most memorable of which was Henry S. West Laboratory School, a magnet and experimental school associated with the University of Miami. For many years and to great acclaim, she taught 6th grade in the gifted program at West Lab.

Ruth was a precocious and talented musician. When she was very young, she thought she was magic because she somehow knew where the chords in a song were headed. That musical magic continued throughout her life. Early on, she taught herself how to play the guitar—upside down, since she was left-handed. In high school, she learned violin, upright bass, and piano. And in the late 1970s, she started playing the recorder, joining the American Recorder Society and serving at times as president of the Miami chapter. She was also a versatile singer, an alto who could switch to tenor on a dime and who moved her body to the rhythms no matter whether she was singing jazz or sacred music.

In the 1970s Ruth became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami. Over decades there, she sang in the UU choir, contributed centrally to gardening and landscaping, and participated in countless social justice activities, serving at times as chair of the SJ committee.

Ruth’s passion for social justice extended into the community, where she participated in protests against child immigrant detention camps and in activities that promoted environmental protection, community education, and racial justice.

Ruth is survived by four grandchildren (Teresa, Jackie, Emily, and Eric) and four siblings Ken (Phyllis), Lyn (Randy), Jon (Jo El), and Terry (Mike). She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband George, her three children (Robin, Rick, and Keith), her granddaughter Kasey, and her brother Jerry.

A service celebrating her life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on June 24, 2023, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami located at 7701 SW 76th Ave. Miami, FL 33143.

This service will be held in person and livestreamed. Guest watching online will be able to share memories in the chat as well as those attending in person.

Link to Livestream:


Jun 24 2023


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


UU Miami Sanctuary
7701 SW 76th Street Miami, Fl 33143