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Cambridge-Ruth Jane Skellie, 90, passed away unexpectedly at her home in Cambridge on Friday, September 28, 2018. Ruth was born in Cambridge, NY on December 20, 1927 and was the daughter of Franklin and Margaret (Hedges) McLenithan.
Ruth graduated from Cambridge Central School in 1948. In 1949 she married Ernest Skellie. Together they worked the family farm and she helped Ernest with his Pioneer Corn Seed Business. Ruth was an accomplished seamstress and was well known for the wedding dresses she made. Ruth was also a wonderful baker. Her cinnamon rolls and coffee cream pies were desired at every family gathering and she loved making them for Birthday and Christmas gifts.
Ruth enjoyed gardening, reading, Nascar racing and going out to dinner with her family and friends.
When Ruth was 12 she was asked by Norman Rockwell to be a model for one of his paintings. She became famous as the little brown eyed, red headed girl with freckles in “The Marble Shooter”. On September 2, 1939 the illustration appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. In recent years Ruth spent her time attending Norman Rockwell Model Reunions where she would tell her story of being a model with great clarity. She also was a frequent guest speaker at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Arlington, VT. She would delight visitors with her story and sign autographs of her illustrations.
Ruth was a dedicated member of the Cambridge United Presbyterian Church. For many years she served as a Deacon, sang in the choir and was usually the first person who greeted you at the door on Sunday mornings.
In addition to her parents and husband she was also predeceased by her brothers Charles, Stanley and Irving McLenithan, her sisters Lorraine Bovard and Joyce Adams. She is survived by her brother Glenn and his wife Jean, brother in laws Neil Adams and John Skellie, sister in laws Ann McLenithan Mantz and Elva Skellie LaBonte and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at the United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, NY. Pastor Kate Kotfila will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution in memory of Ruth be made to the Cambridge United Presbyterian Church, 81 East Main Street, Cambridge, NY 12816.