Community loses dedicated volunteer with passing of Ruth Grose

ALMA – Ruth Grose, who passed away on Nov. 22 at age 90, lived a life that exemplifies what community truly means.

Her passion for local history was unequaled. She was a longtime historian and proud of her rural roots.

Ruth was part of the Peel township history book committee and Alma  Women Institute’s Tweedsmuir history books committee. She spent hours collecting stories and photos.

Over the years Ruth assembled 98 scrap books and photo albums, which noted not only family but important community events. She has always been interested in history, in genealogy, and as a local historian assisted with recording Alma’s community history.

When Alma Women Institute decided to publish their history books, Ruth served as one of the Tweedsmuir Curators. She entered all the data into the computer on her own, donating hundreds of hours to the project. The first Tweedsmuir Book was published in 1984 and featured stories of older generations – families emigrating from Europe who settled in Alma, homesteading, and clearing land.

Alma WI carried on with the family and community stories in its second book (2014). The third history book published in 2017 highlighted Alma Women’s Institute from 1973 to 2017 and featured family trees for Alma and surrounding areas, biographies for Alma WI members and grandmother legacies. Copies of the three books were digitized and are now  on file at the Wellington County Museum, making it a great resource for anyone researching Alma area family or farm history or events.

Ruth was a founding member and served as first president for Alma Women’s Institute. She was presented with lifetime membership to Ontario  Federated Women’s Institute  in 2018. She served as provincial Agricultural Convenor for Women’s Institute.

Ruth joined Alma United Church when she married Ray Grose  in 1952. She was a member for 68 years, during which time she served as Clerk of Session, UCW and Alma United Church treasurer. She assisted with church ladies catering, and annual volunteering at the Alma Strawberry Social.  Served as Treasurer for Silver Lake United Church Camp ( 10 years)  and UCOM  treasurer.

Ruth was a member of Alma Garden club for over 20 years and served as club president. She enjoyed working with youth, served as Sunday School teacher for 25 years, and 4-H leader for 18 years in Wellington County. She volunteered for over 35 years making gravy for bi-monthly Alma Optimists Beef Barbecue – she was famous throughout Wellington County for her gravy recipe.

The Groses co-founded Husky Farm Equipment in 1960 and together enjoyed raising their family (Sandra, Gordan and Walter), while growing the business on their farm.

Ray dabbled in welding and designing farm machine while Ruth was office manager and book keeper.  The story of the family company is woven into the story of community. Together they experienced great love, and adventure in life.

Ruth and her husband Ray  received numerous awards as a couple for their community service over the years. They gave quietly and freely gave of their time and talents. Their spirit of volunteerism was invaluable in building community, whether with Alma Women’s Institute, Optimists, Alma United Church, Elora Grand Square, Canadian Food Grains Bank, UNICEF and many other groups.

Throughout her lifetime Ruth received a long list of awards, but was most proud of  Ontario’s Trillium Long-Service Award, Outstanding Volunteer Wellington County, and Mapleton Township Outstanding Volunteer.

Her many volunteer efforts and community connections will be remembered; a legacy to the rural community she was proud to call home for 65 years.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, no large community gatherings are allowed at this time.

The  immediate family will gather to share memories and celebrate a life well lived.

Submitted by Sharon Grose

Sharon Grose