PITTSFIELD – Ruth May Staniels Cram, 98, of Pittsfield, loving wife of the late Clifton Swett Cram for over 50 years died, Sunday, July 20, 2014, at home surrounded by her family.
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Born December 12, 1915, in Hopkinton, she moved to Concord as a young child graduating from Concord High School, January 1934. She was the daughter of the late Arthur H. and Belle Healey Staniels.
She moved to Pittsfield where she held various jobs using her skills of stenography and bookkeeping. She was secretary to the Superintendent of Schools, was Dr. Epling's secretary, and later became secretary to the president of Adams Brothers Shoes. She was office manager at Catamount Woven Label Company / Universal Label and retired in 1980.
Ruth and Clifton were married during the flood of March 1936 at her parent's home in Concord. He was in the National Guard on active duty and went AWOL to get married and the news made headlines.
Ruth's strong Christian faith was evident in her care of others. Feeling that God had provided them with their home, she and Clifton opened it to those in need and to eight foster children. She was devoted to the Advent Christian Church where she served as Sunday School Teacher, deacon, was the pianist for many years, and a member of the TUXIS Class. She maintained a cottage at the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center since 1957 and was active in its program.
She was a member of the Pittsfield Historical Society where she kept and created scrapbooks from articles of historical significance in the newspaper. A room in the Historical Society Building was named for her.
She enjoyed reading, painting, camping, boating, playing games and traveling. Ruth served as PTA President and in her retirement was an elementary classroom volunteer teaching children to read. As as artist she was involved in oil and toll painting. A group often met to oil paint around her kitchen table and later she taught painting to friends who came to learn. Her great love was the gathering of family and friends at her home or at the cottage. She spent lots of time visiting family, and in her later years wintered in Florida with her daughter Jennifer.
She is survived by her brother, Rev. James A. Staniels of West Chicago; daughter, Sherideth D. Seeley and son-in-law, Rev. Dr. Richard Seeley of Middletown, Conn.; daughter, Jennifer Elkins Warren of Penacook; and son, Linden S. Cram and daughter-in-law, Jean Cram, of Pittsfield; and son, Wayne Hall, and daughter-in-law, Lucille Hall of Barnsted; grandchildren are Calvin Seeley and Karl Seeley of Connecticut, Ruth Seeley Smith of Chichester, Joyce Elkins Sullivan of Hopkinton, Jill Elkins Miller of Plymouth, Matthew Cram of Loudon, Heidi Hall of Pittsfield and Corey Hall of Lebanon; four nieces, Joyce Goss Strickler, Leone Hoover Van Der Jagt, both of Florida, Bonnie Staniels Navaro, Betty Staniels Tregay both of Illinois; and a nephew, Rev. James A. Staniels of California. She has 19 great-grandchildren and a wealth of friends of all ages.
She is predeceased by her grandson, John Clifton Elkins.
The family wishes to thank all her friends for their devotion and love these many years. We also thank CRVNA for all their support and care.
Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, July 23rd, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Perkins & Pollard Funeral, 60 Main St., Pittsfield.
A service will be held Thursday, July 24th, at 11 a.m. at the Advent Christian Church, 68 Main St., Pittsfield.
Burial will follow at Floral Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to the Advent Christian Church in Pittsfield or Pittsfield Historical Society.
Perkins & Pollard Funeral Home
60 Main Street
Pittsfield, NH 03263
Published in The Concord Monitor on July 22, 2014