Ruth A. Dow
Ruth A. Dow
  • November 18, 1936 - October 2, 2017
  • Phoenix, Arizona

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Ruth A. Dow, age 80, died peacefully at home in Phoenix, AZ on Monday October 2, 2017. She was surrounded and supported by loved ones both near and far.
Ruthie, as she was known to family and friends, was born on November 18, 1936 to Robert Nelson and Edna Catherine (Oliver) MacCallum in Norwood, Massachusetts. She has two sisters Doris Allen and Jean Goodwin.
She moved to Maine during her freshman year, eventually graduating from Monroe High School. One of ten in her graduating class. After high school, she moved back to Massachusetts to attend college. Unfortunately they do not give degrees to students who only attended classes for 3 days...even though she thought she deserved one!
In 1955, she married her first husband Charlie McAlpine, who is the father to her six children. They bought a home and settled in Etna, ME.
Ruthie was employed by New England Telephone (now Verizon) where she worked for 29 years. She started as a Switchboard Phone Operator, progressing to Supervisor and eventually finishing in the Business Services Office.
In the 1980s, Ruthie was an active member of the company's fundraising non-profit called "The Pioneers". In fact she was eventually the first non-management employee to be elected President of that organization. Her natural storytelling abilities and disarming sense of humor made her a popular public speaker, an effective leader and ideal spokeswoman for 'The Pioneers'.
Although Ruthie was dedicated to her career, her favorite role was being a mother. Between the years of 1956 and 1963, she had six children, 3 girls and 3 boys. All born within 7 1/2 years. She often said if she had her way, she would have had 8!
In 1977 she married Earl Dow, a dairy farmer from Etna, Maine. They both retired in 1987 and travelled around the United States in an RV for 5 years, before settling down as snowbirds, with homes in St Petersburg FL, Etna, ME and Prince Edward Island, Canada. Traveling had always been a passion for Ruthie, even when it included packing up 6 kids in a station wagon to hit every tourist attraction up and down the East Coast.
Ruthie and Earl were dedicated members of the Cornerstone Community Church of St Petersburg. After Earl's death in 2000, Ruthie helped form and was a member of an active Woman's Bible Study Group, until her move to Phoenix in 2007.
While in Phoenix, Ruthie was the first employee of Storm Wisdom, a retail and event space that was opened by her son and son-in-law. Many of the clients were charmed by her warm, yet direct demeanor and self-deprecating humor, which she usually directed toward her computer skills or ability to count change. Both which meant they always spent a few extra minutes interacting with her during their check out process.
Ruthie was always active, loved to laugh, and was dedicated to her family and friends. Survivors include daughter Mary Jane Erickson of Newport, ME, daughter Cheri Hutchings of Newport, ME, son Charles (and Fito Licea) McAlpine, son Ron (and Kathy) McAlpine, daughter Cathy (and Philip) Shaw, and son Scott McAlpine. Her grandchildren - Lester Hutchings, Monica McAlpine, Steven (and Corinne) Shaw, Robert Shaw, Casey (and Brian) Lawler, Caleb McAlpine, Dylan McAlpine, Kyle McAlpine, Jayme Erickson and Victoria Erickson. Great Grandchildren - Sebastian, Michael, Isaiah, JT, Trinity, Emma and Chase. Her sister Doris (and Art) Allen and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Earl, parents Robert Nelson MacCallum and Edna Boyle, and Sister Jean (and George) Goodwin.
By her request there will be no Memorial Services and the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ who provided thoughtful services through their 'Palliative Care for People with Dementia' and 'Hospice Care' programs.
Ruthie has been a bright light and inspiration to many. She will be missed.