Editor’s note: This feature is part of a weekly focus from The Star meant to highlight and remember the lives of Black Kansas Citians who have died.
Each year, Ruth Scover would shut down her restaurant, Ms. R’s Café on Quindaro Boulevard in Kansas City, Kansas, to provide a free Christmas meal to whoever walked through the door.
During the KPRS Soul Food Tour and KPRT Gospel Tour, she’d offer full course meals for only $1.03. Once a year, Scover also provided dinners to the Juvenile Detention Center. These are just a few examples of what family said Scover served her community in Wyandotte County.
“She just had a motherly soul that was naturally within her with everyone,” Ann Williams, Scover’s sister said.
Scover died on Sept. 4. She was 64.
Homestyle burgers and peach cobbler were a customer favorite at Ms. R’s Café. The soul food restaurant served yams, mac and cheese, pig ears and baked chicken — favorites customers said always tasted just like grandma’s cooking.
“That chicken and dressing and them neck bones,” said Eddie Scover, Ruth’s son. “Her legacy at the restaurant is the very good tasting food.”
For over three decades, Ms. R’s served the community in many ways other than just its appetite. Family said Scover also mentored other surrounding restaurants and businesses.
Family said one of Scover’s favorite quotes was: “It’s enough money to go around. One business can’t make all the money, so why not reach out and help and bring someone else along.”
Born on March 16, 1957, to Willie Lee and Ruth Mae Adams in Kansas City, Scover attended Westport High School. She later attended Kansas City, Kansas, Area Vocational School to pursue business courses.
Scover worked multiple jobs as an accountant and short term at a nursing home. Wanting to work for herself instead while doing something she loved, she and her husband, Roosevelt Scover, opened Ms. R’s Café in 1985.
“One of her legacies will be the spirit of community and entrepreneurship she instilled in her kids,” Jeremiah McCluney, a friend said.
Scover’s three children, Eddie, Roosevelt and Rosette would come to the restaurant after school where they would do homework and, of course help, wherever needed.
“No matter the menu, Ms. Ruth always salted her food with caring and peppered it with generosity of spirit,” Gayle Townsend, Commissioner for District 1 in Wyandotte County, said.
Considered a pillar in the community, family said Scover received recognition for her service from the mayor’s office of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, community churches, and “Who’s Who in Executives and Businesses.”
“I am most in awe of how she gave back to the community. Sometimes, my legally blind mom would walk to Ms. R’s for a meal. Ms. R would insist that she or someone there gave her a ride back home,” McCluney said.
Scover successfully ran Ms. R’s Café and faithfully served her community for many years. In doing so, family said she never fell short of her love and joy of family.
“My grandma was a strong woman,” Alexus Scover, Ruth’s granddaughter said. “She would look out for anybody who crossed her path.”
Scover was also known for adopting friends as family.
“She was such a beautiful woman with a good heart. Always courteous of others and wanted to see everyone do good,” Sherita Pearson, a family friend said.
Described as the life of the party with a sense of humor, Scover was an outstanding and phenomenal queen that will always be respected, her daughter Rosette said.
“She was a marvelous treasure in the community,” Rosette said. “She was bright, charming and delightful, encouraging and friendly, generous and helpful, intelligent and jovial, kind and loving, magnificent and nurturing,” she added.
Rosette described her mom as an unsung hero whose legacy will forever live on.
She leaves to cherish her memory two sons, Eddie Scover and Roosevelt T. Scover, III; a daughter, Rosette Scover; grandchildren RaNesha Terry, Tania Sauls, Alexus Scover, Kishon Owens, Tynesha Elias, TaiJannt Scover, Dae’leon Scover, Rickie Hudson, Jr., Thalia Scover, and Eddie Scover, Jr.; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Willie Ann Williams,Terry Lee Adams and Lisa Wallace; brother Steven Wallace; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.
Margie Mitchell was born on March 4, 1964, in Kansas City to Willine Clark and Ollie Valentine Gilmore.
She died on Sept. 6 at age 57.
She grew up in both Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. She graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1982. She then attended National American College in Kansas City, where she received a degree in applied management and business.
In 1982, she married Eric Mitchell, joining her husband as an Army military wife in 1983. The two were happily married for 16 years.
She was a member of The Church of Christ.
Family said she enjoyed decorating, shopping, skating, sewing and pottering.
She is survived by her spouse Eric Mitchell; daughter Erica Mitchell; sons Eric Mitchell, DeMario Scott, Sr.; sisters Gloria Gilmore-Union, Betty Thompson, Virginia Stevenson, Vickie Gilmore; brothers Kenneth Gilmore, Darrell Gilmore; grandchildren Xavein Dean, E’monii Mitchell, Eyan Mitchell, Easton Mitchell, Elajah Mitchell, Xamya Mitchell-Hamilton; nieces and nephews; a host of other relatives and friends.
Corina Coleman Brown
Mother Evangelist Corina Coleman Brown was born on March 22, 1947, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to Robert and Rosetta Brown. She was their youngest daughter.
She died on Sept. 15 at age 74.
She married Nathan Brown and moved to Kansas City in 1961. They had one son, Michael.
After earning her general education diploma, Brown attended Metropolitan Community College, majoring in office management studies.
Family said she was a strong willed, loving and wise woman. She was a special person who would help anyone. A single mother who worked for various companies, she retired from the State of Missouri as a cook.
She enjoyed cooking, shopping, traveling and spending time with family. Brown was a member of the “Silver Sneakers” at the Cleaver YMCA. It was here she met and befriended many people.
She united with Kimball Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, under the pastorate of the late Rev. J. J. Brown. She served in the choir and was a Sunday School teacher. Later, family said she moved her membership to Landmark International Deliverance and Worship Center under the pastorate of Bishop John L. Brown, Sr. She was a devout member for 29 years and served as a licensed Missionary, licensed Evangelist, prayer warrior and was on the Mothers’ Board.
She is survived by her six children: Michael Brown, Barbara Brown, Peter Brown, Cardell Dwight Brown, Melvin LaMont Brown, and Marquail Brown; eight grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, one great-great grandson; three brothers, Julius Jones, Joseph Coleman, Jessie Coleman; one sister, Lueriner Green; a special sister, Loisteen Farley; a special daughter, Lecrecia Nicole Ross; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.