Ruth was very well known in Eynsham, but just how much she contributed to our community is perhaps not so evident. As well as being a devoted wife, mother and grandmother she was a true friend and a wonderful organiser, generous with her exceptional energy and talents.
Ruth was born in Durham and trained as a science teacher in Leeds, where she met Philip. Until 1993 the places where the family lived were dictated by Phil’s work near to power stations, and Ruth continued her teaching whenever possible. During their last posting in York she taught Commerce and English at a Women’s Open Prison, but typically she did much more than that, for example making all the costumes for the Prison Pantomime.
In 1993 the Spencers settled in Church Hanborough. Soon they accepted with enthusiasm an offer of a 3-year post to Karachi, Pakistan where Ruth became Chair of the British Women’s Society and organised charity work. She became fascinated by the people and culture of the Middle and Far East, travelling to many remote and extraordinary places with Phil.
In 2008 Ruth and Phil found their home in Eynsham, from which they worked in so many ways on our behalf. Always calm and cheerful, Ruth rolled up her sleeves; she produced tasty meals for groups large and small with equal ease, planted bulbs in the verges, cleared the streets, spread gravel in the Fishpond area, painted sheds for the Primary School and worked with Santa’s Sleigh. As Chair of the Communities Committee of our Rotary Group she organised financial help for needy individuals and local causes such as the Day Centre, with meticulous attention to detail, courtesy and efficiency.
It has been a great shock to lose Ruth this summer. As she would say, ‘Bye my love’. She will be sadly missed.
On behalf of myself and my family can I thank all those people who have expressed their sympathy and condolences and for their kind thoughts about Ruth. - Philip Spencer