Ruth was born in Springfield, Missouri, on July 26, 1936, to Reggie and Freda Smith. Growing up in the hills of Missouri, “Ginger” loved to play music with her cousins, aunts and uncles. Her uncle would often say “Ginger gal, get over here and play some music with us.”
Over the years her musical talents grew. While she was still young, the Smith family moved to California. Ginger became part of the Johnny Mosby Band performing at The Palomino and other venues including the Town Hall Party in Paramount, CA. It was there that she met her future husband Gene. After locking the keys in her car and feeling like a damsel in distress along came her handsome prince. Ginger said she had a choice to make, either go on the road as a country music singer or settle in and raise a family. She decided on the latter.
Gene and Ginger were married on June 9, 1956, and lived in Downey, CA, where they raised four children, Chris, Cindy, Carrie, and Janine. Ginger served on the PTA, she was also involved with the Brownies and Girl Scouts.
Gene and Ginger moved to Coarsegold in 1990. They attended Calvary Chapel of the Sierras where Ginger led worship and was part of the prayer chain. People at the church knew her as a warm and caring person. She volunteered at the Manna House and rang the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas time.
Ginger loved to play her guitar or any other instrument that was put in front of her. She enjoyed motorcycle rides, building puzzles and picnics at the lake.
Ginger is preceded in death by her parents, sister Mary Lou Carter, brother Eddie Smith, and daughter Cindy Cassaro. She is survived by her husband Gene, son Chris Cassaro, daughter Carrie (Jim) Bogy, and daughter Janine Cassaro. She also has five grandchildren: Ms. Sarah Chlarson, Emily (John) O’Conner, Adam (Tatiana) Bogy, Laura (Charlie) Williams, Mary Jo Cassaro and 13 great-grandchildren.