Ruth D. Stoddard

Hanover, N.H. — Ruth D. Stoddard, 86, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 3, 1926, a daughter of William Aldrew Dougherty, Jr., and Ruth (Sprankle) Dougherty. The family moved to Scarsdale, N.Y. when Ruth was seven years old. Summers spent at camp, notably Camp Wabasso in Bradford, N.H., encouraged her love of the outdoors.

She was married in 1946 to her Scarsdale high school sweetheart, George Chaffee (“Skip”) Stoddard, Jr. She graduated with a B.A. degree in English from Wellesley College in 1947, the same year her husband graduated from Dartmouth College. After raising her children, Mrs. Stoddard worked at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. She also substituted in the Hanover schools and did in-home special needs teaching. She volunteered as a ski instructor with the Ford Sayre program and at the Pink Smock Shop at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

A member of the Sporty-Niners, she enjoyed many years of golfing with friends at the Hanover Country Club. From 1990 to 2009, she wintered in Pinehurst, NC, making many friends there. An avid and active bridge player, she adored games of all kinds, had a wonderful sense of humor, and shared with her husband a devotion to animals. She was a passionate Red Sox fan. A proud alumna of Scarsdale High and Wellesley College, Ruth treasured lifelong friendships with companions from childhood and college. She loved taking courses at Dartmouth-ILEAD and through Elderhostel. Most of all, she was a lifelong lover of words and books who did the Valley News crossword puzzle every Sunday, played weekly Scrabble with her dear sister, and devoted a part of every day to reading.

Mrs. Stoddard leaves behind her sister, Barbara Hawthorne of West Lebanon; and her four children, Sally Collier of Wellesley, Mass.; Sam Stoddard (Sherri) of Los Osos, Calif.; Susan Durant (Will) of Cornish, N.H.; and Martha Stoddard Holmes (Jacob) of Cambria, Calif. She leaves eight grandchildren: Whit and Ben Collier; Molly and Zack Stoddard; Ed, Lydia, and Mary Durant; and Joshua Holmes, all of whom adored their “Drandma,” as did her two great grandsons, Isaiah Durant and Henry Collier. She is survived by two nieces, Julie Hawthorne and Emily Erickson. Mrs. Stoddard also leaves a half-brother, William A. Dougherty III of Pultneyville, N.Y., and a half-sister, Engracia M. Dougherty of Draper, Utah.  Mr. Stoddard predeceased her in 1995. Two nephews, William Hawthorne and Gordon Harper, also predeceased her. 

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Ruth Stoddard’s life Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College in Hanover, where she was a member for over 50 years. Reverend Carla Bailey will officiate. A reception will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to The Upper Valley Haven, 713 Hartford Avenue, White River Junction VT 05001 or The Claremont Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 957, Claremont NH 03743.
The family would like to express its deep gratitude to Dr. John Batsis, Ruth’s physician, for his expert and respectful care of Ruth over the years, and to the caring staff at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Interment in the Stoddard Family Plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Rutland, Vt., will follow at a later date.

To view an online memorial and or send a message of condolence to the family, please visit

Arrangements are under the direction of Rand-Wilson Funeral Home.