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Guestbook for Ruth Warner Kilby Gruninger
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October 29, 2020 | Walter Lunt - Raymond, ME -- United States


October 29, 2020 | Walter Lunt - Raymond, ME -- United States

There are no words. I met Ruth in 1973 at Soule School in Freeport, my first year of teaching. Over the next 28 years I had the privilege of knowing Ruth as a friend and colleague devoted to her students and to the success of an experimental school that defied tradition and outdated ideas. She was strong in her beliefs and dedicated to helping and encouraging those around her. One of her many legacies is recorded on the building plaque at Mast Land School. That, and her famous corn-husk dolls crafted by hundreds of her adoring students. It was a great journey, Ruth. Those memories are the best. Mr. Lunt

October 30, 2020 | Sally Sullivan - Eliot, Maine -- USA

Lois and family,sorry to read of the passing of your mother. Special thoughts and prayers to you all as you travel through this difficult time. May you find peace as you share memories together.

October 31, 2020 | Stephanie Cormier - Freeport, Maine -- USA

With Ruth's passing, I feel that South Freeport Village has lost its last true historian. Ruth was always ready with interesting stories of the village "the way it used to be." There, of course, were also stories of her childhood, her dogs, the family camp on Sebago Lake, that amazing runner on her staircase, and on and on, all just as interesting. She was quite the storyteller. Ruth was also a great cook and next rhubarb season I'll pull out her recipe for rhubarb coffee cake with a smile. On one visit I showed her Soule School Directories I had saved from 1979 through 1983. She remembered every child! That was a long visit!
You have given me a bank of memories, Ruth. Thank you for your friendship and Godspeed.

November 1, 2020 | Laurie Allen - Portland, ME -- U.S.

Ruth was an extraordinary teacher. I notice that several of her students have left wonderful notes honoring her. I would like to recognize that she was equally kind and supportive with fellow teachers as she was with her students. I'll always remember with appreciation how she welcomed me in to her classroom when I started at MLS. I became one of the learners as I watched her make writing come alive by modeling the writing process, sharing personal stories that grabbed everyone's attention - and she made it seem effortless! Later, after she retired, she continued to support the students and teachers of MLS by volunteering to be a penpal with a 4th grade student each year. The letters she wrote were cherished by the students . They were filled with Freeport history and her personal experiences and recollections. She attended the penpal teas and students always came back to report that they wanted to keep writing to her - she was a cool lady. That she was. Thank you for everything, Ruth. You touched a lot of lives.

November 1, 2020 | Nicholas Coleman Grant - San Francisco, California -- United States of America

I attended Soule School back in the late 80s and I remember Mrs. Gruninger seemed impossibly old (and just as wise) to me all the way back then. Little did I know; she was just getting started.  Some 30 years later, when I heard of her passing, I reflected on what a blessing it is when an amazing person like Mrs. G achieves the kind of longevity she did.

I count myself as lucky to have been one of her students.  I’m sure there were few pupils in need of her tutelage as much as I.  She was indispensable to my successful education and it makes me marvel when I consider the immeasurable benefit she was to the young people of the town she loved.  So many children had their education elevated by her over the years and behalf of all of us, I want to express thanks to both her and her family.

Aside from Soule School, my memories of her are dominated by a recollection of her giving out candy in the village on Halloween night...  How ’bout that.  Thank you, Mrs. Gruninger.  You are loved and will be missed!

November 2, 2020 | Robert Walker - AUBURN, ME -- United States

Lois, I am sorry to hear about your loss. I enjoyed your mom's feistiness.

November 3, 2020 | Peter Blaze Corcoran - Sanibel Island, Florida -- United States

I will always remember how kind Ruth was to me when I was a young teacher. I learned a great deal from her generosity of spirit and advocacy for children. I felt blessed to work with her as my mentor in the early Soule School years. It is a joy to think of how many students she influenced over her very long career. She opened new worlds to generations through reading, art, and sharing her great good spirit.

December 6, 2020 | Natalie Knox - Ellsworth, ME -- United States

My fondest memories of Ruth are from when the Kilby family lived in Searsport. She was my Brownie Scout leader and our little troup met in the Kilby house! She was sweet, kind, gentle, and laughed easily. I remember, and was little girl impressed by, a painting in their house of their cat "Gray Baby" - painted by Ruth's mom, if I'm remembering correctly. Ruth was a true gem and I'm so happy that she's been in my life since I was 5! My thoughts and prayers go out to her girls, Dianna and Lois (my classmate)and their entire extended families. You are Ruth's legacy - and I know she is so very proud of all of you. Love to all. Natalie


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