Ruthie Douglas, 81, longtime chronicler of Chester, friend to many

Ruth “Ruthie” F. Douglas, 81, of Chester, passed away on Sunday May 1, 2022 at the Jack Byrne Center in Lebanon, N.H.  She was born Dec. 31, 1940 in Springfield, the daughter of Dwight E. and Vivian (Tatro) Foster.  She attended Springfield schools.

On Aug. 22, 1956, she married Donald W. Douglas. He predeceased her in 1981.

Ruthie worked for many years in the hospitality industry, working for several years as food manager at Tater Hill. She worked in cafeteria services for the Chester schools, and later as a freelance writer.

For more than 40 years she wrote about area people and events, and delved into local happenings with her “Chester Chatter” column, where she connected with readers from all over. She wrote for the Black River Tribune, the Springfield Reporter, The Message for the Week and The Chester Telegraph, where she spent her last five years.

Her community was very important to her, she was an active volunteer for many years and very proud to give back to her community. She was instrumental with planning and organizing many events in the Chester community over the years including the Red Rose Cotillion, winter carnivals and summer camps for kids.

She was a Sunday school teacher at the Chester Congregational Church, where she also was a member. She also was a member of the American Legion Post #67 Auxiliary, the Bartonsville Grange, the Home-Dem Club, the Chester Historical Society and the Chester Democratic Party.

Ruthie served on the Chester-Andover Elementary School Board and the Chester Recreational Board. She was a Justice of the Peace, an elected position to which she served for 30 years.  And she was also a Girl Scout leader for several years.

Ruthie was very resilient, very patriotic, very caring and supportive of her family and friends and lived life to the fullest, enjoying vacationing with friends in the islands.

She is survived by two daughters: Donna Douglas of Claremont, N.H., and Jean Bolaski (Alexander) of Springfield; one sister: Helen Mack of McKinney, Texas; five grandchildren: Dr. Lily Hughes of Fairbanks, Alaska, Ivy Barboza (Omar) of Manchester, N.H., Logan Gabert or Andover, Alexander Bolaski III (Kathryn) of Westminster and Benjamin Bolaski (Sarah) of Springfield; and three great grandchildren: Willow, Hendrix and Cassius.

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, and by her siblings; Marilyn LaDrew, Lila Mansur and Marie Angell.

Friends may call at the Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield on Monday evening May 9, 2022 from 6 to 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday May 10, 2022 at the American Legion Post 67 in Chester, Rev. Thomas Charlton will officiate. Burial will be at the convenience of the family in the Brookside Cemetery in Chester.

Memorial donations may be made to the Chester American Legion Post 67 Auxiliary,  51 Legion Road, Chester, Vt. 05143.

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  1. Chris Clay says:

    Rest in peace Ruthie! I’ll always smile when I remember the days sitting at the tavern at the Stone Hearth Inn talking about life over a glass of wine. You discovered so many wonderful historic images of the Inn for me just before I departed Chester way back when. You will be so missed by so many!

  2. R.I.P Ruthie… will be missed. I loved your column in this paper. Your writing brought back so many long forgotten memories. Sincere sympathy to Ruthie’s family and friends.

  3. Arlene Mutschler says:

    So sorry to hear this. She was an awesome classy wonderful lady. RIP Ruthie, it was a pleasure to have known you

  4. Loved Ruthie. She was such a wonderful lady…. I read her stories forever and enjoyed them all very much… She was a most comical person with such a wonderful personality. While i have not seen her for awhile…. i am saddenned she has left us.

  5. Deborah Costa says:

    Ron Betts and I extend our sympathy to Ruth’s family. We looked forward to her columns weekly and always enjoyed her company at the Chester American Legion. She will be missed…

  6. Lew Watters says:

    One sweet fixture in our community who will surely be missed