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Ruth A. Danforth

Mrs. Ruth A. Danforth, 81, beloved grandmother of Sarah and Elizabeth Cornacchio, died peacefully on Sunday March 4, 2012, surrounded by her family at the Kaplan House.

Born in Arlington, she was the daughter of the late John and Margaret (O’Brien) Erickson. She graduated from Arlington High School and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University. Many years later Ruth balanced family and career to earn a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Bridgewater State College.

After her marriage to Otis R. Danforth, Jr., her husband of 44 years, Mrs. Danforth began her professional career in Minnesota as Northwest Orient Airlines’ first female Control Agent responsible for tracking passenger and freight reservations. She later helped establish one of the first Forestry Camps for delinquent boys in Pennsylvania and worked counseling and testing teenaged boys who had been court committed as delinquent. After returning to Massachusetts, Mrs. Danforth worked as a psychological assistant at M.C.I. Bridgewater State Hospital, administering objective psychological tests that were used by clinicians for diagnostic purposes.

Mrs. Danforth was an elementary school teacher and later worked for several years as a guidance counselor in the Bridgewater School Department. She embraced the introduction of computer technology in education and also taught computer courses at Bridgewater State College. She served on several town government committees in Raynham and was a past chairman of the Taunton State Hospital Board of Trustees and the Raynham Historical Society.

Ruth was an avid mystery reader and licensed antique dealer. She loved planning antiquing missions across New England with her friends. She also loved classical music and passed this love on to her granddaughters. She was deeply involved in their young lives and supported her daughter as she began her own professional life.

Ruth was predeceased by her daughter Diane and her younger brother John Erickson. She is survived by her younger sister Joan MacDonald of Andover. She also leaves her daughter Susan and her husband Thomas Cornacchio and her two beloved granddaughters, Sarah and Elizabeth Cornacchio of Ipswich.

Her funeral service will be held 11 am Friday, March 9, in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich, preceded by an hour of visitation from 10 to 11 am. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Interment will be in the Lakeview Cemetery, Freedom, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923.

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