It is with great sadness that the family of Ruth E. McCluskey reports her passing at home on Sunday, May 14, 2023. Her best friend and caretaker, Liz Radcliffe, was at her side in her home in Milford Landing. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and sister. She was 94 years old.
The daughter of the late William and Walburga (Gebele) Fielden, she was born on November 6, 1928, in Paterson, New Jersey. The night she was born was also the night Herbert Hoover was elected president, and as Calvin Coolidge finished his term. This was a harbinger to her future involvement with the Sussex County Republican Party.
Ruth grew up on the Van Bunschooten farm in Wantage (today a Museum owned by the DAR). She enjoyed living on the farm, including milking her father’s cows with her brother Jack. She frequently reminisced of activities, including swimming with her brother in the glen across from the farm and exploring the many fields nearby. Ruth also had great memories of her best friend growing up, Nellie Cosh, and Saturday nights in Sussex, when the farmers came to town to do their shopping (yes, Sussex would be packed!). A bygone era that few in Sussex County remember.
Ruth was very active in the Sussex County 4H. She often spoke of her prize-winning cows, Tula and Lusty. Ruth saved hundreds of 4H ribbons she earned for participating in many fairs.
After attending Trenton State Teachers College, Ruth was an Elementary School Teacher for Sparta, and the Sussex-Wantage School District. She served in many capacities of organizations in the education field, including President of the PTA, President of the Education Association and President of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for educators. Many former students kept in touch and these letters were treasured.
Ruth had a love for history and always incorporated it into her lesson plans at school. Ruth was a direct descendant of Isaac Van Wart, one of the three militiamen who captured Major Andre during the Revolutionary War. After which George Washington recommended that Congress issue the first military decoration in US history, the Fidelity Medallion for the three men.
Ruth married Joseph McCluskey in 1952 and celebrated 66 years of marriage before his passing in 2019. Together, Joseph and Ruth had three sons who had made their lives complete.
Ruth and her family had lived in the Sussex area for many years. Nearing retirement, Ruth and Joseph moved to Matamoras, Pennsylvania and spent their winters in their home in Scottsdale, Arizona, where they were happy to create fond memories with three of their grandchildren. After 22 years with homes in Matamoras and Arizona, they relocated to Moody, Maine. While in Maine, they made many friends, and enjoyed helping their son Mike with his gift shops. They lived in Maine for 12 years before returning to Pennsylvania to be closer to family. Ruth was a devout Methodist Church member her whole life, everywhere she lived.
Ruth is survived by her children, Joseph John McCluskey and his wife, Donna (Yabroudy) of Woodland Park, James Franklin McCluskey and his wife, Beth (Hackett) of Hillsville,Virginia, and Jay Michael McCluskey and his wife, Lois (Cottelli) of Titusville, FL. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Lori Ann, Jason and his wife, Marissa; Daryn Dree and her husband, Christopher Pela; Cody James and Devan Leigh, her sister in law, Sally Fielden, nephew, Terry Fielden and niece, Sally Cellucci.
Cremation was privately held at the convenience of her family at the MacLennan Hall Crematorium, Milford Township, Pennsylvania.
A memorial service will be held on June 20 at 11 a.m. at the Matamoras United Methodist Church, 209 Avenue H, Matamoras, Pennsylvania 18336 with Reverend Diane Sommers officiating. Ruth will be reunited with her loving husband, where they will be buried at Clove Cemetery, Wantage, New Jersey. Her loving brother Jack Fielden, who predeceased her, will be nearby.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in honor of Ruth to Karen Ann Quinlan, Center Of Hope Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ 07860.
Arrangements were made by Stroyan Funeral Home, 405 West Harford St., Milford, Pennsylvania 18337 (www.stroyanfuneralhome.com).