Ruth Norcross Marshall, 95, Was Chappy Fixture

Ruth Norcross Marshall died on Friday, Sept. 17, at the age of 95 at the Henrietta Brewer House in Vineyard Haven. Born to Fred and Emma Norcross in Boston, Ruth spent her childhood years in Needham where she became lifelong friends with the children of Frank and Molly Marshall of Needham and Chappaquiddick and spent many summer holidays with the Marshalls at their Chappy home, "Big Camp."

Ruth graduated from Needham High School and went on to graduate from Skidmore College and Katherine Gibbs school in Boston. Upon her graduation, she went to work at Wellesley College for several years. In 1942, her childhood friend, Bob Marshall, became her husband, and the two moved to Chappaquiddick where they both lived for the rest of their lives, Bob died in 1989. Ruth kept very busy running her husband's business, keeping his books and maintaining the renal properties they built. She also maintained a huge garden as well as flocks of chickens, ducks and geese, all of which she preserved for winter sustenance.

Ruth and Bob had no children of their own, but their nieces and nephews, as well as friends and neighbors, were constantly treated to the largesse of their enormous hearts.

Both Ruth and Bob loved Chappaquiddick and gave generously to Island conservation groups to preserve the legacy they began. Chappy was never simply a place to live, but a way to live. Their thoughtful care for Chappy will be in the memories of all those that they touched.

Ruth spent the last ten years of her life being lovingly cared for by Ellen and Scott Gertsmar and their caring staff at the Henrietta Brewer house in Vineyard Haven. Donations in her name may be made to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.

A memorial service will be held on June 12, 2005 at the Chappaquiddick Cemetery.