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Ruth Strong (Merrihew) Bushnell

Lebanon, N.H. — Ruth Strong (Merrihew) Bushnell, 91, of Lebanon, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at Alice Peck Day Hospital in Lebanon. She was born on April 18, 1922, in Winchester, Mass. She was the daughter of Ted Strong and Maude Foster.

Ruth graduated from Lebanon High School in 1939. She was married to Thomas Dexter Merrihew in 1940. They lived together for 30 years and raised their four children.

Ruth was a hard worker and worked long hours at the woolen mills in Lebanon, and later in Claremont to support her family. After her husband’s death, she lived in Claremont for a brief period and later met, and married, Richard Bushnell. They moved to Meredith, N.H., a town she quickly fell in love with, and built a house where she lived for more than 20 years after Richard’s death.

She spent several winters in Saint Thomas, where she fondly told stories of her life there, which included feeding iguanas in her back yard. She enjoyed spending time at the senior center in Meredith where she met new friends, and her soul mate, Sherman Carter. They were great friends, and enjoyed life together until his passing. She moved back to Lebanon in 2009, and lived at the Rogers House where she quickly made new friends.

Ruth loved spending time with her family, and friends, traveling, reading, swimming in Lake Waukewan, gardening, and telling stories of her childhood. Ruth grew up during the Great Depression where times were tough, and her family only ate what their father was able to hunt. Ruth was an educated, determined, loving, adventurous mother, and grandmother. She had a fiery can-do spirit, and strong will to survive life’s obstacles. She leaves us with this quote “You all enjoy your days together and keep smiling. I am thankful for the special people I’ve met and whose company I’ve enjoyed along the way.”

She is survived by four children, Thomas Merrihew and wife, Gloria, of Lebanon, Raymond Merrihew and wife, Melmer, of Lebanon, Jean Handle and husband, Charlie, of Lebanon, Joyce Parker and husband, Fred, of Seattle, Wash.; stepson, Arthur Bushnell and wife, Donna of Meredith; two brothers, Karl and Happ Strong; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. She was predeceased by her husbands, Thomas Merrihew, Richard Bushnell and soul mate, Sherman Carter; brothers, David and Richard Strong.

There will be a private service for family at a later date.