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Ruth Bragdon Donovan

Obituary Condolences

Ruth Bragdon Donovan Obituary
RUTH BRAGDON DONOVAN OF POTTSTOWN Ruth Bragdon Donovan died at her Pottstown home on June 3, 2012 after a long struggle with health issues. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1919 to John Stewart Bragdon, a career Corp of Engineers leader in the Army and Ruth Hughes Bragdon, Ruth shared with her sister Dorothy Bragdon McCormick and her late brother John Bragdon, the life and education of Army children in many national and international postings. She attended 13 schools including one in the Philippines, where her father was Engineering officer at the General Douglas M. McArthur headquarters. Such diversity had special cultural advantages preparing Ruth for entrance to Pembroke College, the women's unit of Brown University, in 1937. She graduated from Brown University in 1941, having completed a dual course in Fine Arts at Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. She was prepared for retail opportunities in design at Thallheimer's, Richmond and Rich's, Atlanta in that fast paced style. Her first husband was Russell J. Hall then a young Air Corps flight instructor in Georgia, teaching British air cadets. Family plans were shocked with his death in a training accident. Their son, Michael Stewart Hall, was born shortly thereafter. In 1946 she met and married Charles M. Donovan, fresh from Naval Aviation and an instructor of English at The Hill School, Pottstown. Ruth's gracious style and warm personality were strengths as careers developed. In 1953 the Donovans moved into a home in Pottstown to start a business career at Doehler-Jarvis and later a long term association with Berman Truck Leasing. Ruth's skills in design showed in her personal work for their home. People at all levels in the Pottstown community admired her talents and believed in her. For 18 years she organized and led the North Division Auxiliary of PMMC in New York theater trips, twice a year, for the best seats and service she could arrange. Trips were sold out. She had a special gift of early selection of Broadway winners - and with her friends contributed substantial money for PMMC's charitable work. She is survived by her husband, Charles, son Michael S. Hall and his wife Pat Hall of West Chester, and their children Matthew Hall (wife Caryl and children Martha and Edward) and Catherine Hall; by her daughter, Mary S. Donovan and her husband John Cole and their son Noah Stewart Donovan Cole, her sister Dorothy B. McCormick; nieces, nephews, and family ranging from Turkey to India to Saudi Arabia to Mexico to Texas, the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, California and Massachusetts. Her message sold to all. Burial will be private. A memorial Mass will be celebrated in St. Aloysius Church, Pottstown, Pennsylvania on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. Contributions may be made to the Rhode Island School of Design, 2 College Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903. The family will receive friends 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Friday at the Church Gathering Center, 214 N. Hanover St., Pottstown. Arrangements by Warker-Troutman Funeral Home, Pottstown.

Published in The Mercury on June 6, 2012
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