Ruth D. Sawyer, 98, of Island Pond Rd., Derry, NH died Sunday July 21, 2002 at her home following a brief illness. Mrs. Sawyer was born in Derry on May 15, 1904, the daughter of the late John W. and Eva A. (Clendenin) Day. She was a lifelong resident of Derry. She was a 1921 graduate of Pinkerton Academy, Derry and later from Emerson College, Boston, Ma. She was predeceased by her husband, Lynwood H. Sawyer in 1944. Upon his death she attended and graduated from New England Institute of Anatomy Science and Embalming in Boston, Ma, where she became the first female licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of New Hampshire. She then continued to operate her late husband’s business, “Sawyer Funeral Home” in Derry until 1960. She also served as past secretary for the New Hampshire Funeral Directors Association. She was an 85 year member of the First Parish Church, E. Derry. She was a 50+ year member of the Ransford Chapter #3 Order of the Eastern Star, Derry. She was a longtime member of the Mizpah Rebekah Lodge #15 and the D.A.R both of Derry. She was a founding member of the Thalian Club and the oldest and longest standing member of the Derry Garden Club. She served as former trustee for the Alexander Eastman Hospital and past president of the hospital auxiliary.
She is survived by three daughters, Cynthia S. Hansen, Virginia Beach, Va, Jane E. Smith, Tucson, AZ, Linda R. Kneeland, Derry, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday July 24th at 2:00pm in the First Parish Church, Hampstead Rd., E. Derry. Calling hours will be Tuesday July 23rd from 5 – 8pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. Rebekah and O.E.S. services will be held during evening calling hours. Following cremation, private burial will be held at a later date in the Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry. Memorial contributions may be made to Derry-Salem Home Health and Hospice, 15 East Broadway, Derry, NH 03038.