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Obituary: Ruth Roberts Slovenski – Lewiston Sun Journal

Slovenian Ruth Roberts

LEWISTON – Ruth Roberts Slovensky, 96, of Lewiston, Maine, died peacefully at home with her family at her side on December 23, 2021. Ruth was born on June 9, 1925 in North Fayette, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Robert and Florence Roberts. Her father was a Presbyterian chaplain, and her mother taught at school, including educating Amish children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Ruth was a graduate student in 1943 at Marcellus High School in Marcellus, New York. After high school, she enrolled during World War II in the Nursing Cadet at Syracuse University. In 1946 the School of Nursing threw a dance party for the Syracuse football team. She was introduced to Walter Slovensky, one of the team’s starting players. She and Walter had many adventures in college, including helping him with his science homework, helping him sell food from his cart that had been given permission by the university to sell food outside of graduate student housing and at sports competitions. Their collaboration developed to a new level when they married in October 1950, and Ruth and Walter moved to Lewiston in the summer of 1952 when Walter began working as a track coach and assistant football coach at Bates College. Ruth and Walter raised six children in Lewiston. All six of her children attended Pettingill School and graduated from Lewiston High School. Ruth was a full-time mother in the first twenty years of her mother’s life. She’s led the weekly Girl Scouts and Cub Scout meetings, and taken several station wagon trips around Lewiston and Auburn taking her kids to the range of activities she’s set for them from swimming lessons at the YMCA and YWCA to ballet lessons at Miss Cooper Dance Studio. Ruth also taught Sunday School at Lewiston United Baptist Church for fifty years. The teachers had to be at school every Sunday, so her kids enjoyed going to church with her every week. I worked as a summer camp nurse for 55 years starting at the state YMCA camp in Winthrop. She and her children loved the summer camp program and culture. She worked for many years at Camp Arcadia in Casco, Agassiz Village Camp in Poland, Bowdoin Day Camp in Brunswick, and Slovenski Camps in Raymond, for which the camp dispensary is named after her. The Ruth Slovenski Infirmary is a tribute to her wonderful work as a camp nurse during which she applied many bandages and helped campers feel better when they got sick. After her children were grown up, Ruth held nursing positions at Bates College and the Hillcrest Poultry Factory before beginning a job as a school nurse at the Lewiston Public School System. She spent many years working at Pettingill School and Longley School. She has been a constant advocate for children who come to school without proper food or dental care. She made several home visits with her classmate, Jane Collins, to talk to students’ parents who could use advice and encouragement about children’s health. Ruth has enjoyed annual family car trips to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and twice to California. She loved taking her children to parks, museums, zoos, and national parks. She loved to sing on trips, and her favorite songs were composed by John Denver, Peter, Paul and Mary. She and Walter also traveled to the Olympics in Montreal, Los Angeles, and Barcelona. Walter passed away in 1999. Ruth is survived by her six children who feel very fortunate to have been raised by such a kind and sweet mother: Stephen from Hampton, New Hampshire, Susan from Lewiston, Peter from Nashville, Tenn, Paul from Cape Neddick. , Sally Yarmouth, and Patti from Burlington, Vermont. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren. At her request, there will be no memorial service. The family will hold a special graveside ceremony in Casco where she will be interred at Lakeside Cemetery on the shores of Lake Pleasant next to her beloved husband Walter, and a half-mile boat ride from Camp Arcadia.

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