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  • "Ruth Lord will be sorely missed in New Haven. I knew of her..."
    - Ben Solnit
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LORD--Ruth Ellen duPont Of New Haven and East Lyme CT, died August 4 in New Haven. Born in 1922 to Henry Francis and Ruth Wales duPont, Ruth grew up in New York City as well as Winterthur Delaware and Boca Grande Florida. She attended Foxcroft School, Vassar College and received a Masters degree in Education from Yale. She and her first husband George de Forest Lord lived a Yale-centered life in New Haven and raised three children, Pauline, George and Henry. Their baby daughter Edith died in 1954. In 1964 Ruth and three friends founded the Long Wharf Theatre, to which she remained passionately committed. She and George Lord divorced in 1977. In 1970 she took a job at Yale New Haven Hospital, co-leading support groups for parents of severely ill children and writing research papers on disparate topics, including a teenage girl's right to refuse kidney dialysis and the impact on the patient of the death of the psychoanalyst. She later became Research Associate at Yale's Child Study Center, working on custody issues. In 1994, she collaborated with Albert J. Solnit and Barbara Nordhaus in publishing "When Home is No Haven." Ruth spent 16 joyful years with her second husband John Grier Holmes, a theatre man and one-time head of the Yale Whiffenpoofs. At his urging, she wrote "Henry Francis duPont and Winterthur A Daughter's Portrait," now in its 4th printing. John Holmes died in 1997. In her mid-80's, Ruth by chance re-met her childhood friend and neighbor Harry G. Haskell of Chadds Ford, and a marvelous romance blossomed. They were "Partners for Life" until her death. Ruth wrung the most out of life, with an upbeat spirit, hilarious, irreverent sense of humor, deep friendships, and generosity to causes that included social welfare, education, the theatre, and the environment. Her death creates a terrible void for family, colleagues and friends including Hal Haskell, Pauline Lord and David Harlow of East Lyme, George de F. and Gail Lord of Athens GA, Henry Lord of New Haven, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held August 16 at 3pm at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Old Lyme, CT. A second service will occur September 6 at 11am at Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Green- ville, DE. Burial will be in the duPont Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ruth's memory to the Long Wharf Theatre or to the Albert J. Solnit Program at the Yale Child Study Center.

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 8, 2014