Ruth Mary Davis(1931 - 2014)

Ruth Mary Davis Ruth Mary (Thomas) Davis was a tall, beautiful, independent woman. She was born in Oxford, England on October 19, 1931. She remembered the unfolding of World War II in Europe: watching bombers fly overhead at night, food rations, and that her family vacation was canceled in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland. London parents sent their children as refugees to the "countryside" to escape the bombings and Ruth was horrified that the two little girls who stayed with her family wet the bed. She received her first dog, Lisa, when she was 6 years old, and thereafter always had a dog for a pet. Ruth had a horse named Judy, and she loved to ride with her sister Jenny. As she was born in Oxford, her English was "correct," and as a young woman she worked as a governess, teaching proper English to her charges. She spoke Portuguese, Spanish, and some French. After spending time in Portugal and Spain, she followed her sister's family to New York City in 1960. She took ballroom dancing classes where she met Stanley Davis, married him in 1963, and cared for him over the next 40 years. Ruth and Stanley lived on Staten Island, where she worked as a registered nurse for the Visiting Nurses Association in the homes of families and children living in poverty. She was enrolled in the Harvard Nurses' Health study in 1976 and participated in the study for the remainder of her life. She never smoke or drank. She taught community classes on nutrition and took innumerable vitamins and nutritional supplements, but had a secret love of cherry pie and ice cream. Ruth enjoyed playing tennis and swimming and was active in many community organizations, volunteering for the Schizophrenia Foundation and the YMCA for many years. She loved to garden and hated to cook. She undertook the task of taming and beautifying a trash-strewn rocky hill across the street from her apartment in Staten Island. She kept it weeded and planted flowers as a guerilla gardener. Ruth and Stanley enjoyed summer trips to Mohonk Mountain House in the Catskills. Ruth was politically minded and wrote many letters to newspapers and politicians. Her first letter was written to First Lady Betty Ford after seeing her on 60 Minutes in 1975. She advocated for zero population growth, access to birth control, animal welfare, socialized medicine, physician-assisted suicide, and environmental issues. She was widely read, especially in classic literature, and admired the works of new-age guru Deepak Chopra and American mythologist Joseph Campbell. In 1992, Stanley and Ruth moved to Waynesboro and were active members of the Trinity United Church of Christ, the Walkers of Waynesboro, and the AARP. The Davises did not own a car and walked everywhere with their dog Chewy, who was a local celebrity and had many friends. In Waynesboro, she continued her political activism through letter writing, especially to advocate for public transportation in Franklin County. Although her husband was an artist, she was justifiably proud of several paintings she did while participating in senior center classes. Stanley died in 2009 and Chewy died a few months later. Ruth moved to Trinity House Apartments and then to Magnolia's Assisted Living in Chambersburg. She died at Shook Home on Thursday after a brief illness. Ruth is survived by her sister, Jennifer (David) Mitchell of Kirkcudbright, Scotland; her step-daughters, Carolyn Kent of Greencastle and Barbara (Eddie) McQueen of Red Bank, N.J.; grandchildren, Sarah Kent (Nairobi, Kenya), Rebecca West (Chambersburg), James Kent (Indiana, Pa.), Mary Alleman (Chambersburg), Anna Kent (Williamsport), Timothy Kent (Greencastle); and great-grandchildren, Anna Marie and Zebidian West. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14, 2014 in Trinity United Church of Christ, 30 W. North St., Waynesboro. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, Waynesboro. Online condolences may be expressed at

Funeral Home

Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, Inc.
50 South Broad Street Waynesboro, PA 17268
(717) 762-2811

Published in Public Opinion on Feb. 26, 2014