Obituary of Ruth M. Gormont
May 14, 2020 (95 years young). Ruth is predeceased by her parents, A. Doyle & Vaughn (Schaffer) Cowder; husband, William F. Gormont Sr.; siblings, Kathleen A. Carns, Robert B. Cowder, H. Lynn Cowder, Kenneth L. Cowder and Cecil G. Cowder. She is survived by her son, William F. (Helen) Gormont, Jr.; grandchildren, Julie E. (Anthony) Gormont-Forgione & William F. (Robin) Gormont III; great-grandchildren, Jeremy Gormont & Sophie Forgione.
Originally from Clearfield, PA, Ruth was produce manager at Herb & Tom’s Grocery Market before retirement, as well as an active member of St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. She served as the Lawrence Township Inspector of Elections for over 12 years and as president of the Seniors’ Lunch Club of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging. Ruth moved to Rochester, NY in 2010 to enjoy her family, where she was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and an active member of the Town of Greece Community and Senior Center.
Ruth’s burial in Calvary Cemetery in Clearfield, PA was held privately. Future services to be announced at an appropriate time.
My mom was raised on a small farm in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, the second oldest of six children. Growing up during the depression meant the entire family needed to work the farm to help make ends meet. When she was 10 years old, her family sold the farm and moved into town. Her dad got a job working for a hardware store delivering lumber, while the kids continued their schooling. Mom told us what a treat is was to go to a school that had individual grades, rather than the one room schoolhouse she had been attending. A couple years later, the 1936 flood ravaged central Pennsylvania and their house was flooded so badly that the sofa floating in the water left marks on the ceiling where it had been rubbing back and forth. These hard times and situations had an indelible influence on her for the rest of her life.
Teen/Young Adult Years:
Mom continued her education and graduated from high school in 1942. During that time, she helped her family repair the damaged house and spent time with other kids who would become her life-long friends. Following high school, she started working for the Keystone Milk Company to save a little money to enter nursing school, following in the footsteps of her sister. Mom said she dipped so much ice cream she would often dream about the cones. Not loving that job, she began working as a store clerk at the hardware store where her dad worked. Soon the rumblings of war became a reality and the nation banded together to support the World War II effort. Her upbringing of "doing what needed to get done" surfaced and she put plans of nursing school on hold – never to fulfill that ambition.
As her brothers went off to serve in the Army Air Corp, my mom found a way to support the war at home. She went to work at the A&M Electronics factory manufacturing electron vacuum tubes that would be used in military aircraft and ships. It begs the question, "Would we/could we have won that war without the help of the women and men who supported that war effort here on the home front?" My mom and her friends served our country and did it damned well!
Following the war, mom found the love of her life, my dad Bill. He was a heavy equipment operator in the open-pit coal mining business. He too was raised on a farm in the little hamlet of Frenchville, Pennsylvania. They married in 1946, bought a house and settled down to raise a family. Two years later, they brought a son into the world.
Family was very important to my mom. Family events always centered around aunts and uncles, and a few close friends. She enjoyed motor coach tours that included Washington DC and New York City. Mom and dad joined me and my family on vacation trips to California, Colorado, Toronto and more. The area that impressed her most was when she visited the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. When she saw the Grand Tetons, I will never forget her saying, "That's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."
Mom worked as the produce manager at a local grocery market and was an active member of St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. She also served as the Lawrence Township Inspector of Elections for over 12 years and as president of the Seniors’ Lunch Club of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging. Grandchildren were mom's "special something"! She absolutely LOVED her grandkids and simply could not get enough of them. She and dad would visit us at every opportunity to enjoy them. And then there were great-grandchildren who warmed her heart even more.
Mom lost dad in 1997 and invested her time in Pennsylvania with friends and would travel to visit us often. In 2010 Mom relocated to Rochester to be near her family. She lived independently until recently and was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church as well as an active member of the Town of Greece Community and Senior Center’s exercise classes. I would talk with her every day to see how her day was and what was next on her agenda. Mom loved her family deeply. She was a resilient person that always accepted what life brought her way. At the end of every telephone call or visit she would say, "I love each and every one of you very, very much." That was my mom. We will miss her dearly.