WILL UNWOUND #810: “The Unwinders Tavern Will be Closed for Awhile”July 29, 2012
My mother, Ruth Laird Manley, died today at 2:30 EDT. She was a very special person. Many of you may know her as the very first Unwinder. She loved this blog and followed it daily. Whenever I visited her she would talk about many of you who comment regularly as though she knew you. She especially got a kick out of how A.E. would often set me straight whenever I went off the rails.
My brother, sister, and I will miss her dearly. In life’s biggest lottery we were twice winners. First to have Ruth as our mother and second to have her for 91 years.
Ruth Armstrong Laird was born in 1921 in the town of Jordan, New York. She grew up on a small dairy farm outside of Jordan. She attended a one room school across the street from her barn for her elementary years. At the age of 15 she graduated as valedictorian from Jordan High School. In 1941 she graduated from Syracuse University with highest honors with a degree in Latin and French. After teaching high school for two years, she married Leo Manley (1917-1998) and moved to southern New Jersey when Leo went to work as a chemist at the Mobil Oil Laboratory in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
Ruth gave birth to three children (two boys and a girl) and put roots down in her beloved town of Pitman, New Jersey, where she lived for 58 years. In Pitman she was active in the American Association of University Women, the Pitman Little League, the Red Cross, and our Lady Queen of Peace Church.
Her life’s work was her family. In addition to her three children, she was grandmother to 10 children and great grandmother to 16. In her role as matriarch, she was a wonderful role model as a wife, mother, educator, and Christian.
Ruth died as she lived with great faith, a loving heart, and a gentle serenity. May she rejoice in the eternal reward she so richly deserves.
The Unwinders Tavern will be closed for awhile but before we send Maggie and Boris on a much deserved vacation I would like to propose a toast to Ruth Laird Manley.