Ruth A. Bell Clark, 65, of Rye, NH, formerly of Methuen, MA, passed away November 16, 2019. Born in Methuen, she was the daughter of the late Edwin and Evelyn Lucy (St. Pierre) Bell.
In more recent years, Ruth resided with her sister Ellie and her husband Al, who took very good care of her and made sure Ruth continued to be a part of many wonderful family memories.
Ruth grew up in Methuen, MA and was a graduate of Tenney Memorial High School. She attended Rivier College, where she majored in political science. In 1976, she received her degree magna cum laude and was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She then was accepted into a graduate program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA and received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In 1978, she worked as an intern in Washington DC for the Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Statistics and then for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the State House in Boston. Ruth also worked as a part time professor at Rivier College in the Political Science Dept.
Ruth enrolled in law school at Boston University in 1986 and received Juris Doctorate from the Boston University School of Law. She then became employed by the Dept. of Revenue of the Commonwealth of MA at the Child Support agency where she worked on child support legislation. Ruth once stated that her greatest accomplishment was her contribution to the comprehensive Massachusetts child support law that was passed in 1993. This legislation was featured on CBS Evening News with Peter Jennings and set the stage for the subsequent federal legislation included in the landmark welfare reform law of 1996. She later worked for companies focused on privatizing government functions and worked for SRA until her retirement. Ruth was based in SRA’s Portsmouth, NH, office where she worked on the Federal Parent Locator Service project in Health & Civil Services. She worked on legislation and regulations pertaining to privacy and security issues related to the design and operation of IT systems – specifically databases. Ruth thrived on intellectual challenges and the issues she worked on were ever-changing as technology continued to evolve, and new requirements emerged.
Ruth was the proud mother of two beautiful sons, Thomas and Patrick Clark whom she loved very much. She loved spending time with them and enjoyed numerous family vacations. Her sons meant the world to her.
Ruth loved to read and read several daily newspapers and was always up to date on her current events. Being from New England, Ruth had the sports bug and was a big fan of the Celtics and Patriots. When she was not watching sports or reading, in the summertime, it’s likely that you would find her near the ocean – maybe walking on the beach. Ruth was kind and thoughtful to everyone she knew. All her nieces and nephews have “special memories” of the time she spent with them, always making them feel special and supporting their interests. Ruth was like this with everyone she met and talked with. She was such a special person and will be deeply missed; but will live on in our “special” memories of a dear and “special” person.
Ruth was predeceased by her beloved son, Thomas E. Clark, IV.
She is survived by her son, Patrick Clark of Rye, NH; siblings, William Bell and his wife Tracy of Lawrence, Jane Drago and her husband Charles of Methuen, Patricia Dubois and her husband Kevin of Bradford, Glenn Bell of Methuen, Jeannie Aubin of Bradford, Paula Robinson and her husband Gary of Methuen, and Ellen Sicard and her husband Alan of Lawrence. Ruth was pre-deceased by her dear companion, Nathan Cenower of Newburyport, MA. She also leaves many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Thursday, November 21, 2019, from 4:00-8:00 PM at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley Street in Methuen. Her funeral mass will be celebrated at 12:00 noon on Friday, November 22, 2019, at Our Lady of Good Counsel / St. Theresa Church, 22 Plymouth Street in Methuen. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence.
For those who wish to donate in Ruth's memory, please consider giving to the Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.