Ruth Pullen Ristich, 97

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Ruth Pullen Ristich, 97, died at he home on May 7.

She was the last surviving child of Leon Cecil Pullen and Julia Madelon Mellen. She graduated from Portland High School in 1933 and attended Westbrook Junior College and Harrisonburg Virginia State Teachers College (James Madison University).

From 1937 to 1940, she taught home economics at Crozet High School in Virginia. She later moved to work for the University of New Hampshire as a home demonstration agent in Carroll County. Driving across the state in her station wagon, she taught workshops on practical domestic science skills, helping homemakers save money by teaching skills such as canning, upholstering and sewing.

In 1942, she joined the first class of 440 women officers and became a First Lieutenant in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.  She met her future husband, Samuel S. Ristich, while on a tour of duty in Bermuda. They were married in November of 1945. After their wedding, they moved to Ithaca, N.Y., where she completed her master’s degree in textiles and clothing from Cornell University.

She returned to teaching home economics after her five children were born. Every summer she would pack up the children and they would visit relatives in Maine.

Ristich also enjoyed antique glass collecting and quilt making. She belonged to the Fortnightly Club, the Victorian Society of Maine, the Portland Museum of Art, the Maine Historical Society, Yarmouth Historical Society, North Yarmouth Historical Society, The Jones Museum, Calico Quilters, Pine Tree State Quilters and the First Universalist Church of Yarmouth.

Her family and friends will remember her as a loving mother and wife and as someone who truly enjoyed people and helping others.

She is survived by her children, Julianne Malm and her husband, Robert, May Ristich, Stephen Dwight Ristich and his partner, Joanne Chessey, Ruthie Ristich, Josephine Ristich and Bonnie Bump; grandchildren Damian Oddess-Gillette, Eliza Carrington, Samuel Penson, Larissa Penson, Marcie Ristich, Jolene Bouffier; and great-grandchildren Emmilia and Brody Carrington.

The family would like to thank her caregivers Caryl Widdowson, Kathie McGonagle, Bonnie Bump, Diane Pitcher, Leon Wojno, Gina Auger, Linda Russell, Sean Russell, Lori Walker and Hospice of Southern Maine.

Visiting hours will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 8, and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at 731 Sligo Road, North Yarmouth. Funeral services will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at the First Universalist Church, 97 Main St., Yarmouth.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Ruth Pullen Ristich Fund, First Universalist Church, 97 Main Street Yarmouth, ME 04096

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