DANVERS- Ruth Fredrickson (née Wasserboehr), formerly of Danvers, Mass., died peacefully on January 24, 2018, at age 96.
Born in Hyde Park, Mass., the second of four children, Ruth was by her own account the "practical" one, a designation she lived up to in spades. Sharp for all of her 96 years, she possessed a keen memory, recalling not only where she went on her first date, a Boston Pops concert, with her husband of 52 years, Laurence A. Fredrickson and what they both wore, but also whether the Pats won this week. The consummate caregiver, she raised two children, Wendy and Laurence Jr., a.k.a. Fred, took an active role in her grandchildren's upbringings, and nursed both her mother and her husband through terminal illnesses.
Ruth graduated with honors from Saugus High School, Saugus, Mass., in 1939 and worked at the National Shawmut Bank before marrying Larry on February 18, 1945, a Sunday wedding followed by a luncheon. They moved a few times on account of his job at General Electric until settling in Danvers, Mass. where she resided on Hanson Road from 1956 to 2009.
A talented seamstress and do-it-yourselfer, Ruth's creations were boast-worthy (though she never boasted), from the dresses and suits for her entire bridal party including her own to her daughter's pageant gowns in the 1960s to elaborately costumed stuffed animals she donated to the PBS auction in the 1980s. Whenever she and her husband conceived a home-improvement project (and there were many), she relished perfecting new skills like furniture refinishing. After Larry's early retirement, the pair enjoyed two decades of traveling and antiquing; she collected glass toothpick holders and he built curio cabinets for their display. Well into her 80s, Ruth shared her passion for handicrafts with others, assembling her own how-to kits and teaching classes at several nursing homes.
Throughout her life, she also enjoyed volunteering with Danvers Historical Society, Danvers Senior Center, Hospice, the former Hunt Hospital, and others, gardening and canning (her piccalilli was legendary), hosting Thanksgiving and Easter dinners, rolling her eyes at Larry's corny jokes, reading mystery novels, humming with gusto to any song she even vaguely recognized, and eating anything chocolate. Though physical disability plagued her last decade, she found joy in her "stories" (specifically "The Young and the Restless"), trivia contests, and twice-weekly visits from Wendy at Wrentham's Pond Home, where she'd lived since 2011.
She's survived by her daughter, Wendy Roberts; grandchildren, Amy Roberts, Allen Roberts and his wife, Rochelle, Kyle Fredrickson, and Trevor Fredrickson and his wife, Amy; and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, son, and three siblings. No formal services are planned; she will be laid to rest alongside Larry in a small family ceremony at Locust Grove Cemetery in Rockport, Mass.
Published on January 30, 2018