Remembering Ruth Gordon
Looking at the advanced technology and variety of services at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) today, it is important to remember these have been built over time – even longer than the 17 years since NHH first opened its doors. Our community hospital stands strong thanks to the many volunteers and supporters over the years who have prioritized healthcare in Northumberland County.
“We must recognize and thank those who saw the importance of local healthcare and gave their time towards our community’s hospitals long before NHH was even a vision,” shares Rhonda Cunningham, Executive Director of NHH Foundation. “We thank the many who made healthcare close to home a priority and whose devotion helped build a solid foundation for NHH to grow from – people like Ruth Gordon.”
Born in Toronto in 1931, Marlyn “Ruth” Gordon spent much of her childhood living in England during the Second World War before returning to Toronto to complete her high school education at East York Collegiate, where she met her soon to be husband, Jim Gordon. After graduation, Ruth pursued additional education and became a kindergarten teacher.
In 1966, Ruth and Jim settled in Cobourg, where she taught at Merwin Greer School and became an avid and accomplished lawn bowler, bridge player, knitter, and hostess. It was in this town that Ruth and Jim raised their three children, Mark, Laura, and Jamie. Over time, their family expanded to include their children’s partners as well as nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Ruth was a volunteer on the hospital Auxiliary for more than forty years, beginning her tenure at the Cobourg District Hospital before continuing it at NHH. During this time, she served as the President of NHH Auxiliary and was honoured by the Hospital Auxiliary Association of Ontario with a Provincial Life Membership for her exceptional service. She also sat on the Cobourg District Hospital Board of Directors and served as Board Chair for three years.
Sadly, Ruth passed away in early October 2020, but the passion for friends, family, and community shown throughout her lifetime left the world a better place. Upon Ruth’s passing, her family continued to uphold the importance of healthcare she so clearly supported throughout her life, requesting memorial donations be directed towards NHH Foundation.
Hers was a long life, well lived and she is remembered for being smart, loyal, funny, kind, thoughtful, and generous. Today, her daughter, Laura, has followed in upholding her legacy, serving as a member of the NHH
Auxiliary since 1989, volunteering for NHH Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Gala, and joining NHH Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2019.
“It’s people like Ruth who have helped make NHH so strong today,” shares Rhonda. “Not only did her loyalty to our hospital throughout her lifetime contribute significantly, but she has left a legacy and passed her passion for local healthcare on to future generations who will continue to strengthen and support our hospital for years to come.”