Ruth Jeanette (Cordes) CANTWELL

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CANTWELL, Ruth Jeanette (Cordes), of Tampa, died peacefully at home on Saturday, December 15, 2013, following a heroic 15-month battle with small-cell lung cancer and its attendant complications. She was born on December 2, 1926, in Toledo, Ohio, the youngest of the three children of George and Anna (Buhrow) Cordes. Mr. Cordes was a master horologist who specialized in the maintenance and repair of antique clocks and other unique and highly valuable time-pieces. Ruth was preceded in death by her siblings, George Cordes, Jr. and wife Shelia; and Clara (Cordes) Bloomer and husband, William. She is survived by her grieving husband, Michael Norman Cantwell, numerous nephews, nieces and their progeny. Ruth attended the University of Toledo and received an associate degree in business, moved to New York City and eventually became the executive secretary of several noted personalities including: TV journalist Mike Wallace, attorney and CIA Director William Casey and William DuPont, Jr., banker, businessman and prominent horseman. Fluent in German, she spent several years in Germany, where she was executive secretary to the Commanding Officer of the Armed Forces Radio and TV Network Europe. Returning to the U.S.A. she became the secretary to the National Director of Management Consulting of the international accounting and consulting firm of Grant Thornton LLP, in Chicago, where she met her future husband, Michael. Despite pursuing separate career paths and being geographically separated for a number of years, Ruth and Michael continued their courtship and finally married on October 2, 1982. By that time, Michael was a senior partner at Grant Thornton in charge of its Manufacturing and Distribution Services practice. They moved from Chicago to Tampa in 1983 and it remained their principal residence despite Michael's constant travels both in this country and abroad, until his retirement in 1997. During those 14 years; Ruth often had to keep dual residences and frequently commute between Tampa and other locations. In spite of the inconvenience, Ruth maintained her community and voluntary activities in Tampa and a keen interest in the local arts. After retirement, Michael and Ruth became partners in MRC Consulting, Inc. which provided logistical planning and change management services to a select group of companies and governments throughout the free world. Fortunately, this enabled the couple to mix business with pleasure in travel, foreign culture, arts and sport fishing. There will be a funeral service at Grace Lutheran Church, 3714 West Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33618, at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 19, 2013. At Ruth's request, there will be no viewing and the service will be followed by cremation. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the or to .

Published in TBO.com on Dec. 18, 2013
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