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Ruth Delores Wagner
Loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend to all who had the good fortune of knowing her, Ruth Delores Wagner, age 89, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2022. Ruth was born January 8, 1933 in Flushing, Long Island, in the state of New York, to the late Peter and Ruth Gallagher. Her family moved to Johnstown in March 1936 in the midst of the devastation and turmoil of the second Johnstown Flood. Ruth is preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Robert Wagner, the absolute love of her life. Ruth was active in many volunteer organizations during her life, but she was particularly committed to the growth, development and nurturing of her three sons, who she and her husband Robert raised to be successful and kind adults. Ruth attended Beam, Chandler, Garfield and Johnstown High School. She then continued her education at the Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, and graduating in 1955, as a registered nurse. Ruth was an RN at the Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital until she left to begin her family. She continued working as an RN, on an “unofficial” and needs-driven basis. Additionally, given her wonderful and caring bedside manner, and the skills of a lifetime as an RN, she provided needed medical advice and assistance to her family members, and close friends. Her granddaughter, Hannah, followed proudly in her grandmother’s footsteps, entering the field of medicine, ultimately becoming a nurse practitioner. Ruth was a charter member and Secretary of the All-American Square-Dancing Club, through which she made many lifelong friends. She was a den mother for Cub Scout Pack 27 for nine years, through which she had a positive impact on, and served as a lifelong role model for many boys. Additionally, for many years Ruth was a teacher’s aide for the Richland School District, through which she guided and helped to educate many children. Ruth initiated a club called Friends for Health with Billie Williams. This group was formed as a spin off from Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital. As founder, she was responsible for securing speakers on a variety of subjects and creating unique keepsake crafts for each meeting. She was also a member of the Christian Women’s Association. Ruth was particularly well known for her beautiful cake decorating. She was an extraordinarily talented baker and cake decorator, with wedding cakes being her specialty. Over nearly forty years of baking and decorating, Ruth became affectionately referred to as the “cake lady” right up until her passing. In addition to cakes, Ruth enjoyed making delicious home-baked pies, which she shared with family, friends and those in need. Ruth was appointed to the Ethics Committee at the Kindred Hospital in Pittsburgh, based on her husband’s extended stay at that facility. She initiated the development of the Robert W. Wagner Memorial Courtyard at the Kindred Hospital, in memory of her late husband, Robert. For many years, Ruth served on the Cambria County board of elections as a volunteer at the Richland voting site. Ruth started an organization called the “Knotty Ladies”, a group of women who would meet once a month to make no sew blankets for use by women’s shelters. In addition to her parents, Peter and Ruth Gallagher, and her sister, Joan Gallagher, Ruth is preceded in death by her loving husband, Robert William Wagner, to whom she was happily married for 53 years, Ruth is survived by her children Robert (Tracy) Pittsburgh, PA, Richard (Jennifer) Johnstown, PA, and David (Emily) South Fork, PA. Ruth is also survived by her grandchildren Travis Beckley, WV, Hannah (Elliot) Ambler, PA, Katie Beth Latrobe, PA and Ricky Johnstown, PA. Ruth also leaves behind one particularly special great grandson, Emmit, whom she loved very deeply. Additionally, Ruth leaves behind her special friends Carol Krone and Dorothy Polke, who rode together with her in the “widow wagon” to many adventures. Ruth loved to garden, and as she grew older, her garden may have become smaller in size, but she still continued to love to work the soil. She was a lover of all animals, but was especially smitten with beagles and chipmunks. Later in life she particularly enjoyed sitting on her back porch, with a cup of coffee in hand, watching the chipmunks come onto the porch and scramble about in pursuit of the peanuts that she put out for them. Ruth was kind and generous to all she met. And anyone who met her was indeed fortunate, as they knew they had made a special friend for life. Ruth is complete now. She is in heaven with the love of her earthly life, her husband Bob. The family will receive friends from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland, and again from 10 a.m. until time of funeral service at 11 a.m. Friday at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Richland, with Rev. Scott Klimke officiating. Entombment, Richland Cemetery Mausoleum. Online condolences may be posted at www.wharrisfuneralhome.com.
My prayers are with your family. Ruth was an awesome lady. I'm glad I got to know her. I enjoyed our talks her was so positive. She be deeply missed!
Stacy (Zimmerman) Irons Apr 9 2022 1:59 PM
Ruth and Bob were a staple on my life growing up. Many birthday cakes were made for me and Ruth even did my wedding cake. "The Cake Lady" and Bob were the nicest people I've ever met and my sincere condolences go out to the entire Wagner family during this difficult time. I would often think about them both over the years when I drove by their house. 🙏🙏🙏
karen Perla Apr 8 2022 7:59 AM
Bob, both Sheila and I are so sorry for the loss of your Mother. May the peace of the Lord be with you.
James D Ross Apr 7 2022 11:13 AM
Bob and family, you have my deepest sympathy. I got the pleasure of seeing your mom (and your dad) a few times a year (for more than 20 yrs) when I would pick up the most beautiful and delicious birthday cakes for my family on their special day. May God be with all of you during this difficult time. 🙏🏻
Stacey (Layton) Locher Apr 6 2022 9:27 AM
Our family had many special cakes made by Ruth. My husband always requested a "Mrs. Wagner cake", because they were the best!
What a lovely lady, a pleasure to have known her!
Karen Lear Apr 5 2022 11:27 PM
I am so sorry for your loss! I was a pharmaceutical rep in Johnstown area and she made over 100 cakes for my customers birthdays! My daughters where just talking about how delicious her cakes where! She was a great woman!
Vaughn Dawson Apr 5 2022 6:46 PM
We well remember Ruth in days to come. A lovely lady. Your family has my deepest sympathy. AndI will keep your families in my prayers.
Joan Bunnell Apr 5 2022 6:06 PM
Your Mom was a great lady! So kind! My mom, Helen Toth, worked with her at Rachel Hill and she was especially helpful during my mom’s cancer treatment.
She was a great baker! She made my wedding cake!
Christine Christensen Apr 5 2022 3:39 PM
A candle was lit in memory of Ruth Wagner
Chris Tucker Apr 5 2022 2:59 PM