Ann-Ruth Jackson Houston, 87, a retired D.C. public school teacher who tutored black soldiers during World War II and helped found a group to help the needy here during the 1920s and 1930s, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Thursday at the Roosevelt Residence for Senior Citizens here.
After graduating from the old Miner Normal School in about 1913, Mrs. Houston taught at Garrison Elementary School and Garnet-Patterson Junior High School, where she initiated the tradition of the school's annual spring play.
In the early 1930s, she became assistant principal at Browne Junior High School, then a school for black students. From 1945 until her retirement in 1958, she taught at Banneker Junior High and at Miner Teachers.
In the 1920s, Mrs. Houston was a founding member of The Pollyanna's, a group of women who visited needy homes with food and clothing they had collected. The group continued its work through the Depression of the 1930s and World War II.
During the war, The Pollyanna's also established the Leisure Lodge in Northwest Washington, a two-story, U.S.O.-type facility for black soldiers who were not welcome at U.S.O.s because of racial segregation.
Mrs. Houston worked as a volunteer at Leisure Lodge and subsequently became an instructor at Howard University in an Army program for unschooled blacks serving in the armed forces. She taught reading and writing, basic English and the fundamentals of map reading.
Born in Richmond, Va., Mrs. Houston was reared in Washington and graduated from the old M Street High School. She earned a master's degree in geography from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.
She was a member of the People's Congregational Church, where she was founding editor of its publication, The People's Herald.
Mrs. Houston was married for 32 years to Theophilus J., a Washtington attorney, who died in 1949.
Survivors include two sons, Thomas J. (Jack), and Ulysses J. (Jerry), both of Washington; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.