Robbinston – At 96, after a brief illness, Ruth Elaine Maloney has completed her journey to Paradise. She was the daughter of the late Arthur and Eleonore “Nora” (Poirier) Richardson.
Ruthie was born on Valentine’s Day in 1922. Throughout her life she was regarded by those who knew her as a real sweetheart. She attended Eastport schools and graduated from Shead Memorial High School, Class of 1938. Because it was important to her to be in a Catholic environment, she chose to train at St. Elizabeth’ Hospital School of Nursing in Brighton, MA.
At the Veterans’ Center in Eastport she met Gerry Maloney, a Seabee stationed at Camp Lee-Stephenson in Quoddy Village. Six months later, on July 29, 1944, they were married in Brookline, MA after which Gerry was stationed in Rhode Island where Ruthie, an RN, practiced private duty nursing. Gerry was deployed to the Pacific Theater, but returned in November 1945 in time for the birth of their first child, Gerald, Jr. They then moved to Gerry’s hometown of Lowell, MA where they had two more children, and Ruthie practiced nursing for forty-five years, first at Lowell General Hospital, then at the delivery room of St Joseph’s Hospital, and finally as director of nurses at the Beaconcrest Chronic Hospital.
When Ruthie decided to pursue her BS degree at New England College with its required English courses, she discovered a talent for writing. She later wrote a memoir of Eastport, “A City in the ‘30’s” published in Salt & Pines (The History Press, 2011).
With their nest empty, Ruthie and Gerry decided to see the world. They travelled throughout Europe. They visited Medjugorje, Herzegovina, site of alleged apparitions of the Virgin, where Ruthie was among those pilgrims who witnessed the visual phenomenon of the spinning sun, and to other sites of alleged apparitions of the Virgin including, Betania, Venezuela; Fatima; Lourdes; San Sebastian de Garabandal; and LaSalette. She was privileged to travel throughout Italy and saw Pope John Paul II. Ruthie and Gerry loved to spend time sailing among the Caribbean islands where they snorkeled, and he golfed.
Ruthie and Gerry retired to Maine in the ‘80s and never looked back. Such was their generosity that without hesitation they welcomed a French lad, Guillaume Benhamou, to be their “summer grandson”, even if he did insist on supervising while Ruthie cooked his breakfast crepes. Ruthie and Gerry loved children, and never missed a family, school, or sporting activity involving their grandsons. Ruthie sent cards for holidays and milestones to friends as well as to everyone in the family. Although she and Gerry were both devout Catholics, Gerry reserved time for the links while Ruthie immersed herself in her faith. She served as local Regent for the Daughters of Isabella at St Joseph’s in Eastport, where she and her family had worshipped since she was born. In addition to being actively involved in all parish activities, she became a Eucharistic minister taking Communion to shut-ins, and a Mercy Associate with Portland’s Sisters of Mercy. She read religious books voraciously, among her favorites the life of Blessed Father Stanley Rother and those by Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr. Her only complaint was finding time to do her homework for her Old and New Testament courses. Among her treasures were her framed papal blessings from Rome on the occasions of her and Gerry’s 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries.
Ruthie had a great sense of humor accompanied by her unmistakable guffaw. When she’d spot Gerry’s car returning, she loved to hide so he’d have to find her. She was an avid hearts, sixty-three, and gin rummy fan. Around 4 p.m., before she and Gerry would sit down to a game, she would mix them one of her trademark whiskey sours or daiquiris. She never missed a Red Sox game, whether on TV or the radio. She was a lifelong healthy eater and loved to cook, with Gerry being the taster who most times could honestly say that her creations were delicious. She also loved to bake for church and school sales, and she delighted in making her son a Red Velvet cake for his birthday and her daughter a Dear Old Dad chocolate cake for hers. Ruthie enjoyed eating out either locally or in Bangor with nephew Doug or niece Julie or having Ben, Gena and Xander drop by with pizza.
This year, shortly after returning from visiting her great grands in Florida, Ruthie drove to the registry of motor vehicles and renewed her license through 2022. Her parting advice to all was that we can’t judge anyone, that no one speaks for Jesus, and that we need to love one another.
Ruthie was predeceased by her soulmate and loving husband Gerald “Gerry” Edward Maloney, with whom she celebrated sixty-five years of marriage; son Gerald “Gerry” Edward Maloney, Jr. and his wife Cathy; sister Muriel Wallace and her husband, Merlin; brother Paul Richardson and his wife, Nina; brother-in-law Robert Maloney (Estelle), sisters-in-law Frances Thomas (Elliott) and Bernice Bailey (Raymond), and nephew Peter Thomas (Alice).
Ruthie is deeply missed but with a smile by her daughter Jeanne Mason (Roger) of Arkansas, son John “Jack” Maloney (Bernadette) of Perry, grandchildren Heidi Sarabia (Alan) of Nevada, Ben Maloney (Gena) of Calais, Derek Maloney (Alex) of Florida; Zachary Maloney of Florida, great-grandchildren Aiden and Madelyn Maloney of Florida and Xander Maloney of Calais, nephew Doug Richardson (Shirley) and niece Julie Leppin (Charlie) of Eastport, nephews Richard Maloney (Mary Ellen) and Stephen Maloney (Claire) of Massachusetts, and grandnephews and nieces Patrick Calder and Nora Calder of Portland, Charlie Leppin of Eastport, Haley Richardson of the People’s Republic of China, Arielle Richardson of Armenia, and many more in Massachusetts. Ruthie marveled at her good fortune in dear friends like Cathy Gallagher, Bill, whose poems she treasured and wanted framed, Armand LeMay, Fr. Paul Sullivan SJ, Sr. Janice Murphy RSM, Sr. Aline Roy CSJ, and of course Fr. Kevin Martin, as well as neighbors who were family to her including Richard and Cathy Berry and finally those so appreciated by her and her family, the loving and compassionate care-givers at Eastport Memorial Nursing Home.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Sunday, May 20th at Mays Funeral Home – Flagg Chapel, 72 High St., Eastport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Kevin Martin 9:00 a.m., Monday, May 21st at St. Josephs RC Church, Eastport. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery, Eastport. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais & Eastport.