SIDNEY — Ruth Davis, 90, died Feb. 28, 2014, at the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford, eight years after her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease.
Anyone who knew her will never forget the spirit of enthusiasm, generosity and good humor she brought to living. Despite the cruelty of her final disease —a disease that took so much from her — some of that spirit endured to the end.
Ruth was born on April 1, 1923, in Athens, Pa., the daughter of Luman and Ruth Terryberry. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Luman Jr.; and her husband of 71 years, Dixie Davis.
She is survived by a son, David (Margaret) of Oxford, and their daughter, Lea, and son, Robert (Catherine Clifton) Davis of Guilford. In an addition to one official granddaughter, Ruth “adopted” many friends’ children over the years. They included the children of Ralph and Barbara Felter-Adam, Beth and Kyle; the children of Melody Champion-Liam and Darby; and Margaret Beasley, a resident of Pathfinder Village.
Her work career began after her marriage to Dixie Davis in 1942. Early in his time of service in the Army, she worked at Shepard Niles in Montour Falls, Artistic Cards in Elmira, and at Sampson Naval Base in Interlaken. After joining Dixie in his stateside assignment training infantry troops, she worked in the Post Signal Office at Fort Knox, Ky.
Early in the 1950s Ruth and Dixie relocated to Sidney. While she cared for two children, Ruth and her mother ran a tailoring business from home. Later she worked part-time at Nichols Department Store in Sidney.
In 1965, she went to work for what was then Keith Clark Inc. and rose from a clerical position to coordinating much of production scheduling at the plant. She retired in 1985, after 20 years of service.
Throughout her life, Ruth was an avid learner. In adulthood, she became an accomplished photographer, gardener, cake decorator, re-upholsterer and woodworker. She used her sewing talents to make all the costumes for the Aquacades held in Sidney in the 1950s and she made the matching suit coats worn by her son David’s rock band in 1960s. Friends will recall her making the cherry spindles and newel posts for a staircase in her son Bob’s house.