Memories of Ruthanne

An album of special memories from friends and family.

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There are now 157 messages in the memory album.
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Viewing messages 81 to 85.
Keith Krakaur |
Bob and Ruthanne have been two of my dearest friends for twenty years. There are so many images in my mind that go way back to college, but the one that just seems to crowd out all the others is her smile. It always seemed to be there, even in the toughest of times. And it infected those around her with an optimism that made life, well, better. There will always be a hole in my heart for Ruthanne. My world was made an infinitely nicer place for having had the privilege to call her my friend.

I thought I would share the comments I recently sent to Wesleyan about Ruthanne:

A very dear friend, Ruthanne Simmons ('81), passed away on November 8, 2002, after a long bout with breast cancer. Ruthanne, whose husband Bob Stern ('80) also went to Wesleyan, lived her life to the fullest, following in her father's footsteps by becoming a highly respected eye surgeon and glaucoma specialist in the Boston area. Her passing is a tremendous loss to those of us who had just assumed and taken for granted, as we tend to do in our busy lives, that her ever-present smile, her positive outlook and embrace of life, and her wise, warm words would always be there. You can read about her accomplishments and see some of the many tributes to her at, but the obituary and the written words cannot possibly capture the magic that made Ruthanne part of the fabric of so many who met her and came to know her. She leaves behind another of my dearest and closest friends, Bob, and two wonderful children, Nick (13) and Laura (11). It is very hard to say goodbye to Ruthanne, but she leaves to those who knew her the memory of someone who lived with gusto and who approached her death with her eyes wide open and a dignity that few can seldom achieve.
15 November 2002 - Chappaqua, New York

Sarah Halpert |
All it takes is a glance around Bobís office to see that the Simmons-Stern family is a beautiful, loving and supportive one. The photographs paint such a heartfelt picture that touches all who view them. While I have only met Ruthanne a few times, I feel so privileged to have felt the impact of her presence. I have been deeply touched by stories of her positive outlook, determination and dedication. It is not often one hears about such a strong and inspiring woman. There is no doubt that she has touched so many people during her lifetime and will continue to do so. Bob, Nick and Laura- you are in my thoughts and in my heart as you move forward. My deepest sympathies, Sarah Halpert
15 November 2002 - New York City

Bruce Shields |
I had the privilege of working with Ruthanne during both her residency and fellowship at Duke. Words cannot adequately express how wonderful she was in all respects and how loved she was by all of us who were fortunate enough to have known her. Nor can words express the sorrow in my heart for her dear husband, children, parents and all her family. We can only pray that happy memories of Ruthanne's beautiful life will someday fill the emptiness that we now feel over this great loss.
15 November 2002 - 5 Quarry Lane Hamden CT 06518

Carol Birney de Wet |
Ruthanne and I became friends during those formative college years. As freshman year roommates we shared a number of experiences that were definately part of growing up! We had so much fun together and she was always the model for an independent, strong young woman to me! My heart goes out to Bob, Nick and Laura - but know RA was a wonderful and very special person.
15 November 2002 - 1420 Valley Road, Lancaster, PA 17603

Solida Honore |
I met RA and Bob about a year ago while working at the Gillette Center for womens' cancer. What I'm going to remember most about RA is her precious contagious smile which she always wore no matter how she felt.each time RA smiled, her whole face lit up and that really made my day. May God continue to bless her precious family.
15 November 2002 - Attleboro,MA

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