Babe Ruth’s last surviving daughter dies in Nevada at 102

Monday, March 11, 2019

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Julia Ruth Stevens, the last surviving daughter of Hall of Fame baseball slugger Babe Ruth and a decades-long champion of his legacy, has died at age 102, her family has announced.

Tom Stevens said Sunday that his mother died Saturday morning at an assisted living facility in Henderson, Nevada, after a short illness.

In keeping with her wishes, her remains will be cremated with burial sometime this spring in Conway, New Hampshire, where she used to live, Tom Stevens said.

“She lived such a full, interesting life,” he said. “She was an ambassador for Babe Ruth.”

Tom Stevens said his mother moved from Florida to Arizona in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew and then to Nevada, where he lives.

Diane Murphy, a fellow resident at Prestige Senior Living at Mira Loma in Henderson, told The Associated Press that Julia Stevens had lost her sight but remained bright and vibrant.

Stevens was part of a circle of residents who read books aloud, according to Murphy.

“She was so sharp and laughed at the right moments,” Murphy said. “She was a lovely lady.”

Even well into her 90s, Stevens threw out first pitches at baseball games across the nation, attended Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, and appeared at the annual Babe Ruth Little League World Series.

She authored three books about her famous father.

“As long as there is baseball, Daddy’s name is always going to be mentioned. He was one of a kind,” Stevens once said. “My goal in life is to keep his name alive. He was a wonderful father and I remember him as that and just not as a baseball player.”

Stevens was adopted by baseball’s biggest star soon after Ruth married her mother, Claire Hodgson, in 1929 when Julia was 12 years old. Hodgson died in 1976.

Julia was the older of two daughters adopted by Ruth. Dorothy Ruth Pirone, who was Ruth’s daughter from a previous relationship, died in 1989 at age 67.

She is survived by her son, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren, according to the family’s Facebook post.

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