Tributes paid to former Sidmouth Citizen of Year

Ruth was as “an ordinary woman who did extraordinary things”

TRIBUTES have been paid to a “truly remarkable” former Sidmouth Citizen of the Year who dedicated her life to supporting town charities.

Ruth Brown, 90, was described as “an ordinary woman who did extraordinary things”, at her funeral last week.

“She loved Sidmouth and served it tirelessly throughout her life,” her niece, Gill Barnes, told the Herald.

Ruth was a founder member of Sidmouth’s Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising committee and helped net more than �175,000 during her 30 years with the group.

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Around 70 people attended Ruth’s funeral at St Francis Church, Woolbrook, last Tuesday. She died on March 27.

Gill, who lives in Hampshire, said: “The pinnacle of recognition for all her service to the local community came in 2001 when she was voted Citizen of the Year - an award of which her family are extremely proud.

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“Ruth was full of fun, had a lively sense of humour and a warmth and genuine interest in the lives of family and friends. She was a truly remarkable woman in so many ways, and one to be loved and admired. She will long be remembered by all who knew her.”

Ruth was one of three sisters born and brought up in Sidmouth.

She was domestic science trained and began making cakes for hotels in the kitchen of the family home in the 1950s.

Her business expanded when she opened Ruth’s Cake Shop in Old Fore Street.

Providing accommodation for Sidmouth International School students in the 1980s, Ruth made long-lasting friendships in Spain, Switzerland and Germany.

She was a dedicated member of the Red Cross and trained many cadets in first aid and manned the charity’s post on the seafront in the summer.

Ruth also worked with the ‘meals on wheels’ service in Sidmouth.

In recent years, Ruth volunteered at Sidmouth Museum and was a regular worshipper at St Francis Church.

Despite her age, she could not stop herself from being involved in coffee mornings and other money-making activities to boost the church.

She was a keen golfer and enjoyed Scottish country dancing, walking and hand bell ringing.

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