Memories of Ruthanne

An album of special memories from friends and family.

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Viewing messages 91 to 95.
Debbie Riester |
I have known Ruthanne since I was one year old. Our family had four children the same ages as the Simmons family. We spent many vacations together (Disney, Lake Winnipesaukee) and went to fun birthday parties and sleepovers at the Simmons big Newton house. Ruthanne and I went to Smith together, and I visited her and Bob at Wesleyan. Ruthanne went on to have a wonderful family and impressive career. It is tragic that her life was too short, but remarkable what she accomplished in her career and gave to her family.
All the Riesters are thinking of her and her family.

Debbie Riester

13 November 2002 - 11 Mainstone Rd, Wayland, MA 01778

Janet Riester |
I met Ruthanne first when she was almost a year old. She was standing in her crib, beaming on all that she saw in her world, and looking forward to all that life might offer. Anne and Dick were living at Cedar Hill while Dick finished his training. In a few more years Ruthanne and Rick, Sallie and Kathy would become good friends, each in turn, with my four children. I remember, even now, Ruthanne's warm and friendly birthday parties to which my children were invited. I recall with pleasure Ruthanne's visits to our summer cottage on Lake Winnipesaukee and how much fun our children would have together with the Simmons family. Ruthanne's enthusiasm for water skiing, swimming, music and drama was contagious. Then in later years I would marvel at her accomplishments: Smith College, Wesleyan University, Harvard Medical School, et al.

In her experience with breast cancer Ruthanne taught us how to extend our capacity for strength and cheerfulness and love as she became a witness for the affirmation of life. With a cheerful smile always, Ruthanne continued to balance her ophthalmology practice with her caring for her husband and children. Her passing touches us deeply because it is exceptional, as her life has also been an inspiration. She showed courage and strength in the face of adversity and leaves a lasting legacy in her response to suffering.

We send love and courage to all members of her family.

Janet and Walter Riester
13 November 2002 - Lynnfield, MA

Judith and William Zucker |
We had the privilege and good fortune to know Ruthanne as a physician and a friend,through our children.Following several surgeries, she saved William's eyesight.We shall always remember her as a talented and compassionate physician who went above and beyond the call of duty.She was a warm and caring friend who never failed to inquire about William's eyes, even as her condition was deteriorating.Her sunny smile and warm heart could melt an iceberg.We admired her valiant struggle with her illness and the gallantry of her beloved family who surrounded her in her home with love and devotion, until her last moment.
We shall remember Ruthanne with love,respect and gratitude and thank God that she crossed our path,even for too short of a moment.
Our hearts go out to Bob, Nick, Laura, parents and the entire family.
12 November 2002 - Buffalo, NY

Philip Ferrone |
I first met Ruthanne in medical school, and then a few years later followed her path down to Duke for residency. From the first time that I met her I was struck by the warmth and sincerity that radiated from her: her smile; her mannerisms. I remember when I interviewed at Duke for residency and was apprehensive about going to North Carolina for 3 years. She told me that things were great down there and that I would love it. I took her word for it, and for the first of many times in my years at Duke, she was right.
Then, when I was a first year resident at the Durham VA, she was my chief resident. She was fair, supportive, and ran a great service. She was a wonderful teacher, a guiding mentor, and a true friend.
Several times Ruthanne and Bob invited my wife Jeanine and me over to their house for dinner. The food was fantastic and seeing Ruthanne taking care of Nick and Laura in her mother role was another complement to her work life.
Then as a glaucoma fellow Ruthanne was always as helpful as could be. She would always take a look at a patient or supervise surgery at the VA. She was so giving and great!! She even let me share her locker on the main floor of the Eye Center so that I could come in a little later to rounds and not have to carry my coat around. It was the little things as well as the big things that she thought of, …anything to help out and make things a little or a lot better for someone else.
After our years at Duke we kept in touch by Christmas cards and occasionally would run into each other at the American Academy of Ophthalmology to catch up. Jeanine and I would always look forward to the yearly Holiday letter update about the Simmons-Stern clan, hearing about Nick and Laura’s activities and achievements. We could always tell how very proud she was of the two of them and everything that they did.
To me Ruthanne was a very, very special person who was a role model for me professionally and from a family value perspective. She helped me at a very formative time in my life and I will miss her very, very much. I feel very fortunate that I crossed paths with her in this world.
12 November 2002 - Plandome, New York

Frank Murchison, M.D. |
I had the pleasure of training with Ruthanne at Duke Eye Center. She was always a pleasure to work with. She was a excellent person and ophthalmologist. As a husband, father of three small children, and ophthalmologist, I would like to express my sincere sympathy to her family and friends. It was an honor to have known her.
12 November 2002 - Knoxville, TN

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