Ruth C. Nestle, 94, of Lancaster and Stone Harbor, NJ, passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon, September 12th, while surrounded by her family, and under the care of Hospice of Lancaster County at their Fryer Center in Mount Joy.
Born in Lancaster in 1920, Ruth was the daughter of the late Claude Cooke and Clara Bauman Cooke.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Harold E. Nestle, who passed away in 2004. Ruth and Harold had been happily married for 58 years. Having married in 1946, they celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1996, when a surprise party held at the Hamilton Club, was given in their honor by their children.
She was also preceded in death by her first husband, Ensign Paul T. Marple, who was tragically killed during WWII, when his ship the USS Indianapolis was sunk by two Japanese torpedoes, in the worst naval disaster in US history. In his honor, a Memorial Lecture and Chemistry Award are presented yearly at Northwestern University. Additionally, Ruth is preceded in death by her younger brother, John Carl “Jack” Cooke of Lancaster, husband of the late Florence Schelling Cooke.
Ruth is survived by a son, Scott H. Nestle, Lancaster; a daughter, Janice, wife of Cortright Wetherill, Jr., Malvern, PA; a granddaughter, Amanda Widener Wetherill Holmes, wife of Michael Holmes, Malvern, PA; a grandson, Cortright Wetherill III, Malvern, PA; and a great-granddaughter, Veronica Holmes.
Ruth was a member of the last class at Stevens High School, known as Girls High, who all graduated as part of J. P. McCaskey High School’s first graduating class, the class of Mid 1938. She joined 18 of her classmates to celebrate their 75th reunion in September 2013, at the Eden Resort Inn.
As a full time stay at home mother, Ruth enjoyed taking care of her cherished family, decorating her beautiful home in Lancaster Township, and gardening. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed playing cards with her life-long childhood friends. Ruth was a long-standing volunteer for the Occupational Development Center and the Saint Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary.
Ruth was a former member of Grace Lutheran Church and Hamilton Park United Church of Christ, and in her later years enjoyed attending First Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the Hamilton Club of Lancaster, where a group of her close friends known as the Dipsy Doodles gathered monthly for dinner, and the Towne Club. Ruth and her husband Harold loved big band music and ballroom dancing, and were longtime members of the Dance of the Month and Caper Clubs, who held frequent black tie dinner dances at the Hamilton and Lancaster Country Clubs.
In October 2010, Ruth was inducted into the inaugural class of the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame, for faithfully voting in every election.
Ruth and her late husband, Harold, thoroughly enjoyed living in Stone Harbor, NJ during the summers, in the house jointly purchased in 2000 with their son, Scott, fulfilling their lifelong dream.
In accordance with Ruth’s wishes, there will not be a public service. A private service for the family was held Tuesday, September 16th at Kearney A. Snyder Funeral Home, with Rev. Dennis Ernest and Rev. Dr. Randolph Riggs presiding.
Those wishing to make a contribution, in memory of Ruth, may do so by sending them to her favorite charities:
Water Street Ministries-Rescue Mission, 210 South Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Hospice of Lancaster County, 4075 Old Harrisburg Pike, Mount Joy, PA 17552
First Presbyterian Church, 140 East Orange Street, Lancaster, PA 17602