Ruth Margaret Swithenbank of Worton, Maryland died on August 24, 2013 at her home surrounded by her family. She was 77. She was born in Houghton-Le-Spring in the north of England on March 25, 1936, only child of the late William Thomas and Gwladys (Bowen) Collins. Mrs. Swithenbank was educated at St. Anne's College, Oxford University and where she earned Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Chemistry. She married Dr. Colin Swithenbank on April 11, 1960. She had several short term positions at the beginning of her career, and volunteered for multiple charities. After raising her children, she worked as a statistical programmer for Merck Pharmaceuticals in PA from 1983-1996. Her team analyzed data from more than 100 clinical trials, and she was integral to FDA approval of many drugs, including those used to treat HIV, high blood pressure, and pain. In 1983, she and her husband purchased land on Still Pond Creek in Worton, MD, where they camped until building a summer home in 1985 and moving in permanently upon retiring in 1996. After retiring, Mrs. Swithenbank and her husband took many extended sailing trips on their PDQ yacht "Cadenza", visiting the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and Guatemala, as well as many US destinations. They also spent several winters in their RV, visiting state parks from Virginia to New Mexico. Along with travel, her passions included scuba diving, ballroom and square dancing, music, hiking, bird watching, biking, and reading. In addition to her husband of 53 years, she is survived by her daughters Rosalind Rosenthal (husband Daniel) of Boxford, MA and Lynette Loew (husband Eric) of Longmont, CO; along with her grandchildren James and Rachel Rosenthal and Ryan Courtney, Jonathan, and Aryn Loew. Her son, Mark V. Swithenbank, predeceased his mother in 1981. Services will be held on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at Fellows, Helfenbein, and Newnam Funeral Home 130 Speer Road Chestertown, MD 21620. The Rev. Sara Holben will officiate. Interment will be held privately. Arrangements by Fellows, Helfenbein, and Newnam Funeral Home www.fhnfuneralhome.com
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Published in Montgomery Newspapers on Aug. 29, 2013