BANGOR - Ruth E. Rich, 94, died peacefully at home, with her three children at her side, on the morning of December 28, 2018. She was born on April 3, 1924 in East Machias, the youngest child of Frank and Bessie (Bryant) Smith.
Ruth was a graduate of Washington Academy, where she was class salutatorian; and Bangor School of Commerce, which later became Husson College. As a college student during the war, Ruth was pulled out before graduating to teach business classes in Aroostook County. As a first-year teacher she was recruited to advise the senior class, run the school newspaper and yearbook, oversee the senior play, and organize graduation. It was while teaching in Fort Fairfield that she met Charles, her husband of 67 years. Ruth and Charlie were married June 21, 1946, then moved to Bangor in 1947. Ruth lived in the same home on Maple Street for 72 years where she and Charlie had raised their three children.
In Bangor, Ruth was bookkeeper for the local pharmacy where Charlie was working, taught business courses at college, high school and adult evening class levels. She also served for quite some time as the secretary at the First United Methodist Church in Bangor, worked in the finance office at Sears and Roebuck’s downtown Bangor store, and later migrated to retail for many years. After retirement, she spent sixteen years volunteering at EMMC. Her free time was filled with flower and vegetable gardening, oil painting, sewing, knitting, playing bridge with her long-time friends, and long nights bent over sinister crossword and jigsaw puzzles. Ruth was known for her can-do attitude, her clever and creative problem-solving, her strength of character, her warmth, friendliness and optimism.
In addition to her parents, Ruth was predeceased by her three sisters, Clarice Gooch, Frances O’Neil, infant sister, Gertrude Edith,; and brother, Phillip. Her loving and much beloved husband, Charlie passed in 2013. She is survived by her three adoring children, Karen Rich Coccoluto and her husband, Ralph Coccoluto of Brunswick, Gary Rich and his partner, Heidi Burnham of Bar Harbor, and Cheryl Rich and her partner, Cindy Richards of Durham; as well as her three wonderful grandchildren, Justin Dufresne of Frieburg, Germany, Erin Rich and her husband, Scott Weisenberg of New York, NY, and Kari Rich Ashmont and her husband, Eric Ashmont, of Rockville, MD.
A funeral service will be held 2 pm Saturday, January 5, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church, 703 Essex St., Bangor. Family and friends may call from 1 until the time of the service on Saturday. Ruth’s family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the church fellowship hall following the service. Those who wish to remember Ruth in a special way may make donations in her memory to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center, 33 Whiting Hill Road, Brewer, ME 04412. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com