"Sam" Ruth Anne Uhl Bio

The Cheerful Word mission is to honor, encourage, and inspire individuals and families by preserving their legacies and connecting us across the generations.

Ruth Anne, known to most as Sam, is a seasoned writer and in-demand public speaker on topics relating to personal history, aging, and entrepreneurship. On any given day, you can find her listening to people’s stories everywhere from the local church pew, to the pub, and coffee shop. Sam was gifted with the company of elders at the nursing home where her mother was a nurse, and she became captivated by the stories she heard and began to observe the importance of discovering and sharing one’s own story.

Sam’s career has mostly consisted of business consulting in the training and development field, all the while continuing to write articles for family caregivers and managing a dozen remotely-located medical editors for a medical news company, publishing over 600 abstracts per week.

In 2007, as a caregiver for her own mother, Sam was encouraged to look beyond the task of care and nurturing to preserve the stories of her mom, Betty Tuskey. After producing two short, life story books, she was encouraged to provide this service to others as a professional, starting The Cheerful Word located in the beautiful mountains of Hendersonville, NC, near Asheville.

In 2012 Sam discovered colleagues in the Association of Personal Historians and served as their vice president in 2013, soaking up the decades of wisdom from those who had come before her. She continues building friendships in this professional circle and remains in gratitude for others who help preserve the life stories of everyday people in our own unique ways.

In 2013 she moved from Cary, NC to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Hendersonville, NC. The desire to preserve personal histories and write memoirs spread rapidly throughout Western NC and Sam experienced great success. She and her husband are working for a time from Europe, and she is easily accessible from Germany or Italy or Poland via the magic of free internet video calling.

She has taught dozens of professional workshops such as “Become the Go-To Expert in Your Community,” “Attract Your Ideal Clients with a Consistent Marketing Message,” and “Business Lessons from the Greatest Generation.” She has taught these and other workshops several times at the APH annual conference, online worldwide, and locally.

Sam offers a series of free workshops to educate her community on the importance of preserving personal histories and the different ways to go about it, especially for non-writers.

As a Certified Guided Autobiographical Instructor, her popular cornerstone “My Life Stories” eight-week, guided memoir writing workshop continues to encourage people across the lifespan from teens to the very elderly. Students learn to write and be inspired by their own life stories, many of whom go on to write their own memoirs after becoming convinced, through small-group story sharing, that their lives are indeed more interesting and legacy-worthy than they ever imagined.

Sam also encourages community-building by leading story-sharing sessions and singing songs for residents of assisted living facilities, active senior communities, and special groups who invite her. As a lifelong musician, she is keenly aware of the power of music to access long-forgotten memories which in turn spark conversation not only with her, but with one another long after she leaves.


Service, Certifications, and Awards:

- The “Tuskey Award for Professionalism in Public Relations” was named after Sam as the charter president of the Public Relations Student Society of America at Buffalo State College in 1985 and is handed out annually to winners of the award for excellence

- The Society for Technical Communication (Various Board titles, 1987-2001)

- The American Society for Training and Development (Secretary 2001)

- Led MasterMind groups in the Raleigh-Durham area (2010-2013)

- Certified Senior Advisor (1999-2002)

- American Medical Writers Association (Treasurer, 2005)

- Women’s Power Networking (public speaking circuit 2005-2007)

- The Association for Personal Historians (VP, 2013)

- Certified Guided Autobiographical Instructor - Birren Institute (2013 - present)

- Certified Legacy Advisor for LegacyStories.org (2014)

- Author of “How to Survive Dying: A Journal of Hope for Family Caregivers” 2015

The mission of The Cheerful Word is to honor, encourage, and inspire individuals and their families by preserving your legacies and connecting us across the generations. She accomplishes her mission as a ghost writer, coach, and publisher by delivering books for private family libraries and for sale on Amazon.com.

To date, together with her team, Sam has produced fourteen paperback books, three Kindle ebooks, one audio book, and four Conversational Memoir audio legacies. About one thousand have attended her various memoir writing workshops and many who have attended continue to work with her to complete their memoirs.

Sample of services:

- Conversational Memoirs; guided, audio recorded life story series

- Life Story Books recorded by Sam and edited carefully to preserve the narrator’s voice and create a beautiful story arc of life experiences

- My Life Stories Guided Memoir Writing workshops

- Hospice workbooks to help family caregivers and professional hospice volunteers to record the life stories of the dying

- Scanning services to digitize old photos, slides, letters, journals, scrapbooks, and VHS home movies

Sam is a seasoned writer and in-demand public speaker on topics relating to personal history, aging, and entrepreneurship. On any given day, you can find her listening to people’s stories everywhere from the local church pew, to the pub, and coffee shop.