CUMBERLAND — Elsbeth “Beth” Childs Ryder Ames, 82, died on Feb. 11, a week shy of her 83rd birthday.
She born on Feb. 18, 1929, in New Bedford, Mass. to Bertha Florence and Weston Childs Ryder. She graduated from Wareham High School and attended Simmons College.
John Ames had the good fortune and good sense to marry her on Sept. 25, 1948 and she proudly raised two sons while her husband served as a career U.S. Army officer. Frequent moves around the country and to Germany and Taiwan gave the young family many adventures that broadened their horizons and cultivated an appreciation of culture and the arts. Ames developed a keen eye for beautiful, unique items to decorate their homes and acquired a flair for Chinese cooking which she passed on to her sons.
When the family settled in North Yarmouth, and later Cumberland, she was a member of the Walnut Hill Garden Club and served as its president. She also enjoyed playing bridge with various local groups.
In 1998, Ames and her lifelong friend Louise Reed, took a course in Primitive Landscape Painting at the Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts in Ludlow, Vt. This further honed her artistic skills to create beautiful gifts for family and friends. Her interest in architecture led Ames to get her real estate license at the age of 50, after which she worked for Century 21.
Her other interests included braiding wool rugs, re-upholstering and refinishing furniture, wallpapering and creating a welcoming home for the family and her many friends. She enjoyed reading historical novels, playing games, listening to opera and musicals and New England sports teams. She had a sense of style in hair and clothes – she sported bright toenail polish – and enjoyed taking her grandchildren on birthday shopping sprees.
She is survived by her husband, John S. Ames of Cumberland; sons, John S. Ames II and his wife, Pamela, of North Yarmouth and William R. Ames and his wife, Helen, of Seattle, Wash.; granddaughter, Jennifer C. Kimball and her husband , Todd, of North Yarmouth; grandson, Jeremy W. Ames and his wife, Tracy,; great grandchildren, Diana Kimball, Alissa S. Ames and Sophia Elsbeth Ames; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Karl S. Ryder of Hingham, Mass.
Family and friends are invited to a casual gathering to celebrate her life at Toddy Brook Golf Course in North Yarmouth from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 25. A graveside service will be held in the spring at Walnut Hill Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank the compassionate staff at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough for the comfort care the provided to Ames. Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route 1, #1, Scarborough, ME 04074 or Skyline Farm, P.O. Box 144, Yarmouth, ME 04096.