Monday, August 25, 2008

George and Pat Ruth

Today I am remembering George and Pat Ruth, who lived for many years in Danvers and were very close friends of my parents. As a young couple they lived near Essex Aggie school. My father met them and invited George to coming sailing. Years later George described the thrill of that first race in my father's 16-ft Town Class boat. Pat and George became enthusiastic crew members for years of sailing. They also were avid skiers and dancers. They loved life and were devoted to each other.

Years later George and Pat lived in Torrington, CT, where he taught school. My father and I visited him there sometime after Pat had died of cancer. George, retired, was pursuing his passion of restoring an old airplane. When he finished his plane, he was delighted to fly again. (He had been a fighter pilot in WWII.) In 2000 he moved to WindSock Village (West Ossipee, NH), a community designed for pilots of small planes. Every house has its own hangar and roadsigns announce "Yield to Crossing Aircraft." I visited George in June 2007, sat in his hanger, and watched airplanes taxi by. By then he could no longer fly, but he was happy he had lived "0 to 80 in perfect health".

Yesterday I called to ask George something about my father's Ham radio hobby (another interest they had shared), but his phone had been disconnected. Oh, no. I've learned that he died on July 3rd, age 85. I found his obituary online. His belongings will be sold in an estate sale at his house in WindSock Village tomorrow.

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