Ruth Roberts Slovenski

LEWISTON – Ruth Roberts Slovenski, 96, of Lewiston, Maine, passed away peacefully at home with her family at her side on Dec., 23, 2021. Ruth was born on June 9, 1925 in North Fayette, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Robert and Florence Roberts. Her father was a Presbyterian minister, and her mother taught school, including teaching Amish children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Ruth was the 1943 Valedictorian of Marcellus High School in Marcellus, New York. After high school she enrolled during World War II in the Cadet Nursing Corps at Syracuse University. In 1946 the Nursing School held a dance party for the Syracuse football team. She was introduced to Walter Slovenski, one of the team’s starting halfbacks. She and Walter had many adventures in college that included her helping him with his science homework, and helping him sell food from his sandwich wagon that had permission from the university to sell food outside graduate student housing and at athletic contests. Their collaboration advanced to a new level when they got married in October of 1950.Ruth and Walter moved to Lewiston in the summer of 1952 when Walter began working as the track coach and assistant football coach at Bates College. Ruth and Walter raised six children in Lewiston. All six of her children attended Pettingill School and graduated from Lewiston High School. Ruth was a full-time mother for the first twenty years of motherhood. She led weekly Girl Scout and Cub scout troop meetings, and made many station wagon trips around Lewiston and Auburn shuttling her children to a range of activities that she scheduled for them from swim lessons at the YMCA and YWCA to ballet lessons at Miss Cooper’s Dance Studio. Ruth also taught Sunday school at the Lewiston United Baptist Church for fifty years. Teachers had to be in school every Sunday, so her children enjoyed attending church with her each week. She worked as a summer camp nurse for 55 years beginning at the State YMCA Camp in Winthrop. She and her children loved the program and culture of summer camp. She worked for many years at Camp Arcadia in Casco, Agassiz Village Camp in Poland, the Bowdoin Day Camp in Brunswick, and Slovenski Camps in Raymond, where the camp infirmary is named after her. The Ruth Slovenski Infirmary is a tribute to her wonderful work as a camp nurse during which she applied many band-aids and helped campers feel better when they got sick. After her children grew up, Ruth held nursing positions at Bates College, and Hillcrest Poultry Plant before she started working as a school nurse for the Lewiston Public School system. She spent many years working at Pettingill School and Longley School. She was a persistent advocate for children who came to school without proper food or dental care. She made many home visits with her school colleague, Jane Collins, to speak with the parents of students who could use advice and encouragement about children’s health.Ruth enjoyed annual family car trips to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, and twice to California. She loved taking her children to amusement parks, museums, zoos, and National Parks. She loved singing on the trips, and her favorite songs were by John Denver and Peter, Paul, & Mary. She and Walter also traveled to Olympic Games in Montreal, Los Angeles, and Barcelona. Walter passed away in 1999. Ruth is survived by her six children who feel so blessed to have been raised by such a kind and caring mother: Steven of Hampton, N.H., Susan of Lewiston, Peter of Nashville, Tenn., Paul of Cape Neddick, Sally of Yarmouth, and Patti of Burlington, Vermont. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren. By her request, there will not be a memorial service. The family will have a private graveside ceremony in Casco where she will be buried in Lakeside Cemetery on the shores of Pleasant Lake next to her beloved husband, Walter, and within a half mile boat ride of Camp Arcadia.

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