Ruth Anna Borbeck McKenty, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother died on Friday, April 17, 2020 at her home at Goodwin House, Alexandria, VA. Ruth was an only child and became the matriarch of a large and loving family.
A nurse first, last and always, Ruth was an early example of how much a strong, independent woman can accomplish. She was a First Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps during WW II, worked on hospital wards, taught nursing, was a school nurse in Pennsylvania and Florida, and a public health nurse in both rural New York State and Florida. She worked full-time for much of her life and took pride in all she accomplished.
When she was not working, she was volunteering in her community. She was a life-long volunteer for the Red Cross, served on many municipal commissions, was a hospital volunteer, and particularly enjoyed her years as a docent at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida and Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ruth was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Frankford High School, Episcopal Hospital Nursing School (RN), the University of Pennsylvania (BSN), earned a Master’s equivalent in education, and continued to take courses throughout her life.
She met her beloved husband, William W. McKenty, during World War II on a bus headed to the Jersey Shore. It was Bill’s 21st birthday. Ruth’s father asked him to save a seat for “his little girl”. Imagine Bill’s surprise to find that his charge was a gorgeous Army nurse who outranked him. They married after the war ended and raised five children.
Throughout their marriage the couple often lived abroad and traveled extensively, especially during the years that Bill worked in Saudi Arabia. Ruth enjoyed keeping a world map with pins indicating all the countries she visited and many family memories are tied to these adventures. The events during a 1960 family trip in a VW microbus through the Swiss Alps continue to provide laughs at family gatherings.
Upon retirement the couple moved to Jupiter, Florida where they enjoyed their catamaran and their many friends. In 2006 Ruth re-located to Alexandria, Virginia to be closer to family members. She is predeceased by her husband William W. McKenty and her daughter Elizabeth Joy McKenty. She is survived by her children Judith Richards of Watkins Glen, NY; Joan Macri of Auburn, ME; Ruth McKenty of Alexandria, VA; William McKenty III of Watkins Glen, NY; as well as her grandchildren Karin Moore, Alexandria, VA; Holly Frost, Bethesda, MD; Benjamin Macri, Cambridge, MA; Anne Macri, Topsham, ME; Emily McCann, Philadelphia, PA; Evan McKenty and Sean McKenty, Springfield, PA; and her great grandchildren Gabriella Moore and Jake Moore, Alexandria, VA and Otomars Macri, Cambridge, MA.
A celebration of her life will be planned for a later date. Contributions in her memory can be made to the Goodwin House Foundation, 4800 Fillmore Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311.
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