Thursday, June 19, 2014
Ruth Thomas Bedford of Westport, daughter of Frederick T. and Lucie Thomas Bedford and the last surviving grandchild of Westport philanthropist Edward T. Bedford, founder of the Westport Weston Family Y, died June 15 at her Greens Farms home. She was 99.
She would have celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 8. Her death had been announced Monday at the Y’s 90th annual meeting. (See WestportNow June 16, 2014)
Her death followed by more than a month that of her niece, Lucie C. McKinney, a fellow Greens Farms resident, who died May 10 at the age of 80. (See WestportNow May 11, 2014)
She attended Foxcroft School in Virginia and upon graduation worked in social services. She served with the American Red Cross in the European theater during World War II. She had a great interest in the New York theater and worked for Rodgers and Hammerstein as a stage manager on several Broadway shows.
She was a licensed seaplane pilot, an accomplished sailor, golfer, tennis player and horse woman. Upon returning to Connecticut she volunteered at Norwalk Hospital for more than 50 years. She made a difference in many people’s lives by following her father’s and grandfather’s example in continuing to support many organizations and charities.
The Town of Westport and the Norwalk Hospital as well as many other charities and individuals have been the beneficiary of her generosity.
Her great love of animals is well known, particularly dogs and horses. Her race horses, ridden under the Nyala Farm name, won races at Belmont and Saratoga and other eastern tracks.
“Ruth Bedford will be gratefully remembered for loyalty to her family and friend,” said a family-supplied obituary. She made a difference in many people’s lives. She was loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed.”
She is survived by her niece, Cythlen Maddox, and nephews, James McCashin, Fred McCashin, Bruce McCashin, Briggs Cunningham, III, her cousin, Helen Watkins and several great nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her sisters, Lucie Bedford Cunningham Warren, Helen Bedford McCashin , Mary Bedford, her niece, Lucie Cunningham McKinney, and her nephew, John McCashin.
At her request, services will be private.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Aspetuck Land Trust, P.O. Box 444, Westport, CT 06881, Norwalk Hospital Foundation, 34 Maple St., Norwalk, CT 06856, or the Westport Weston Family Y, 59 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.
Posted 06/19/14 at 09:05 PM
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