Ruth Ray Karpen is a native of Michigan. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University, a master’s in English from Wayne State University in Detroit, and a doctorate degree in English from the University of Michigan. She was Professor of English and faculty associate in gerontology at Wayne State University until she retired and moved to Idaho. She has written and edited many books, articles and chapters, focusing on older women’s writing, the role of older women in society, positive aging and late-life development.
In 2013, Ruth married her high school sweetheart, a retired police detective living in Boise, and moved to Idaho. She lives with her husband and her cat Maisy, who also made the move from Michigan. She now teaches part-time at the College of Western Idaho, works as a freelance writer, and serves as a volunteer for St. Luke’s hospice. Besides working, she likes to read, cook, garden, work out at the Y, and shop for old things at thrift stores and garage sales.