1925 – 2014

LEWISTON — Ruth Margaret Wood, 88, died late Sunday afternoon, March 30, at Russell Park Manor.

She was born Dec. 6, 1925, a daughter of John Camp and Sylvie Parker Wood. She was always delighted to say she was “home delivered” by Dr. Wid Twaddle in Bethel. Her passion for a nursing career was evident as she sat beside her great aunt, who was a nurse, learning to knit and hearing medical stories.

Ruth graduated from Lewiston High School, Class of 1943. She was one of a class of nurses at Central Maine General Hospital who trained under the Cadet Nurse Corps government program; they were supplied with uniforms, a monthly stipend and books, with the stipulation that they would stay in essential nursing during the duration of World War II. It was deemed essential that some of the nurses stay at the local hospital, CMGH in Lewiston, and Ruth was included in this.

State exams for registered nurses were held in fall 1946. She started work before receiving her R.N. and was called a graduate nurse. She went on night duty in the maternity ward right after graduation. After 20 years in maternity, she was asked to be trained by Dr. Clapperton to perform obstetrical anesthesia, where she remained for 12 years on call (24-48 hours). Then, she spent three years in the nursery handling newborns.

After a period of private duty, Ruth was employed at Greene Acres Health Care Facility. She also worked as a fill-in for Dr. Rudolph Haas, then became full-time from 1983 until retirement in 1989. She was one of the nursing home residents who was honored by the Maine Health Care Association in Augusta on April 12, 2013.

During Ruth’s nursing career, she was called upon to assist in many emergency deliveries and partake in the deliveries of many babies, including her six nephews. Undergoing a radical mastectomy in 1973 never stopped her from caring for her patients and many relatives. Her mother’s leg amputation was a challenge she met by taking care of her while working at CMGH.

Awareness of the medical issues in the rural towns was an incentive to serve on the board to establish the DFD Russell Clinic in Leeds in 1975. She served as its first vice president and on its board of directors.

She loved the outdoors and her gardens, and fruit trees were special to her. Her decorative paintings have adorned many items in the homes of friends and relatives, even winning a first prize at the Maine State Fair. Knitting was another passion of Ruth’s; every nephew, relative and friend, etc., were receivers of her knitting needles in forms of sweaters, hats, mittens and more. She taught herself the knitting machine and made a “business” of hats, sweaters, etc., to sell, thus supplementing her retirement income. The hospital doctors were receivers of her argyle socks, as well as admirers of her many holiday paintings on the windows.

Ruth’s love of music was evident in her participation as a soloist and choir member at the Baptist Church of Greene. In fact, if the pianist was unable to attend the choir practice, you would find her at the piano. She also served on the visiting and floral committees and the AB Women’s Society. She was active as chaplain of the Greene Senior Citizens and was involved in the Christian Women’s Club. None of her many and various operations kept her from her assigned duties, thanks to assistance from her nephew and wife who lived across the road.

Ruth’s hands and mind were always busy — whether making zucchini pickles or peach and plum jam, trying a new variety of strawberries in her garden, writing poetry, playing her organ or solving medical emergencies from the many telephone calls from friends. She was a dedicated and caring person to her family, career and community.

Ruth is survived by a sister, Mary Greaton and her husband, Winston, of Lewiston; five nephews and their wives, Alan and Sheila Wood of Greene, John and Lindy Wood of Turner, Mark and Judy Wood of Poland, Everett Greaton of Los Angeles, Calif., and Robert and Jana Greaton of Sammamish, Wash.; and a niece, Cynthia Greaton, of West Concord, Mass.

Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Gilbert Wood; sister, Carolyn Wood; nephew, James Greaton; and grandnephew, Ross Wood.

Messages of condolence may be sent to www.finleyfuneralhome.com.

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