Former Faculty Member Ruth D’Arcy Dies

Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 23, 2005) — Former faculty member Ruth D’Arcy died July 25 at the age of 84. She joined the faculty of the Missouri School of Journalism in 1974, where for nine years she taught and directed the Penney-Missouri Awards program.

Ruth D'Arcy
Ruth D’Arcy

“Ruth was among a small group of journalists responsible for changing women’s sections, full of cooking, weddings and engagements, to lifestyle sections directed at women whose interests extended beyond the home,” said Daryl Moen, a faculty colleague of D’Arcy’s and a professor at the School. “She won so many Penney-Missouri contests while she was in Detroit that we invited her to be contest director and the Missourian lifestyle editor. One of her innovations for coming up with story ideas was to have the students think of interesting or weird titles, then come up with a story that would fit. Even in her 60s, she was working outside the box. She was a great colleague, a consummate professional and a lady.”

Before joining the School, D’Arcy worked for 32 years in features at The Detroit (Mich.) News as writer, columnist, Women’s Editor and Lifestyle Editor. In the mid-1960s, D’Arcy was one of several women’s editors nationwide who saw the need for improved features writing throughout the newspaper. The News Lifestyle section also won four consecutive Penney-Missouri awards.

After leaving the School, D’Arcy retired to San Diego where she was a part-time writing coach for the San Diego (Calif.) Union Tribune. She retired for a second time in Richmond, Va., in the mid-1990’s.

In 1997 D’Arcy was inducted into the American Society of Sunday and Features Editors Hall of Fame.

“In all my years of working with colleagues at the journalism school, I have never known anyone more devoted to her students and to her craft than Ruth D’Arcy,” said Professor Don Ranly. “In all my travels and time with her doing Penney-Missouri workshops, that’s what she talked about. Ruth was a thoroughly devoted professional.”

Updated: April 7, 2020