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Ruth Marie Donahue
Viewing: August 26, 2017 (Saturday) from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church
Service: August 26, 2017 (Saturday) at 11:00 a.m.
Location: St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

Ruth Marie Arnold was born in Zanesville, Ohio, on April 14, 1938. The youngest of four children, she followed brother Bill and sisters Grace and Mary. Like others from the generation, her childhood focused on school, family, and faith. It was in grade school that she discovered the love of reading. Ruth would be so absorbed reading a book that she tuned out everything and everyone around her! It was also in her early years that she developed her lifetime love of dogs. Her Mitzy was her constant companion. From her German parents she learned an appreciation for the heritage and culture, especially cooking. When she grew up, she continued the tradition of making sauerkraut on  New Year’s Day and refrigerator pickles in the summer.

Ruth graduated from Bishop Rosecrans High School, then moved to Columbus to work as a secretary. It was on New Year’s Eve, 1960, that she met John W. Donahue Jr. It did not take long to realize that they were meant for each other, for they married on August 19, 1961.

The couple soon added to their family. They welcomed their son Michael in 1962. Almost three years later, Ruth gave birth to daughter Eileen. Ruth juggled motherhood and household management with a lot of energy, especially when John began to pursue a degree in law. Ruth’s family depended on her playing several roles at once, and she did not disappoint.

When the children were older, Ruth decided to pursue her own academic goal. She enrolled in and completed the nursing degree program at the Ketting College of Medical Arts. Her family was very proud of their college graduate! Ruth Donahue, RN, practiced at an allergist’s office into the early 1980s. Subsequently, her professional focus shifted to home sales. A career as a real estate agent suited her outgoing personality and her keen organizational skills. She fulfilled training requirements, and soon she was representing sellers and buyers in the Dayton area.

Ruth was always up for an adventure, and she and John travelled extensively before and after retirement. Spain, Ireland, Alaska, Costa Rica, Morocco, the Netherlands, Australia, and Greece were just some of their destinations.

Ruth was very sociable and delighted in making friends. She and her close Dayton friends performed volunteer work for Terrific Women In Giving and were active in the Red Hat Society. She took classes, such as yoga. She was even learning how to play the hammered dulcimer! Exercise was important to her also. She walked and lifted light weights. During the summer, she got lots of exercise in her bountiful vegetable garden. Little wonder that Ruth’s calendar, usually tacked to the refrigerator, was often full.

Ruth was always ready to give her gentle affection and attention to grandsons Colin Robinson, Andrew Robinson, Graham Robinson, and Patrick Donahue. Her great pride in them was obvious to anyone who saw the many photos she displayed in her home in Dayton.

While failing health compelled major life changes, one constant was her love for husband John. The couple renewed their wedding vows on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary in 2011. She lost him the following year and laid him to rest in Maryland.

Her family—Michael and Connie Donahue, Robert and Eileen Robinson, Mary Nutter, William Arnold, Lawrence Staller, Nancie and Bernard Ferencik, and their families—will miss her deeply. They will cherish the many happy memories of travel, holidays, and family gatherings.

Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 917 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852 on Saturday August 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM, where friends may call from 10:00 AM until the tome of Mass.

Interment will follow at All Souls Cemetery, Germantown, MD

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DeVol Funeral Home