Cover photo for Ruth Elizabeth McNairn's Obituary
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Ruth Elizabeth McNairn

September 13, 1933 — September 17, 2022


Ruth Elizabeth McNairn


Ruth E. McNairn, a Myersville, MD resident, and former Hagerstown, MD resident, died Saturday, September 17, 2022, at home surrounded by her family, including her loyal feline companion.

Born in Clear Spring, MD, Ruth was the daughter of the late Beatrice and Frank Divelbiss, and widow of the late Conway S. McNairn, to whom she was married for over 65 years.

She graduated from Clear Spring High School in 1952 and was employed by AAA in Washington D.C. before returning to Maryland.  After several years working at R. Bruce Carson Jewelers in Hagerstown, she became a homemaker and dedicated mother.

Known for being passionate about safe child care, she operated a home-daycare for decades and transitioned to elder care later in life. A skilled cook, she took pride in her vast archive of recipes; her favorite challenge was selecting a new recipe to make each month from Gourmet magazine. Friends and family benefited from her enthusiasm to make delicious treats, though their waistlines suffered. 

She had many pastimes, including being an avid reader, bird watcher, gardener, and dedicated sports aficionado. The last book she read was Fascism, A Warning, by Madeleine Albright. Her dedication to baseball began in high school with learning the game by attending many Washington Senators games and grew to include both the Baltimore Orioles and happily the Washington Nationals (she cheered the return of baseball to D.C.). She enjoyed watching tennis and football, and was partial to supporting local teams in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore (Ravens). Her dry wit and withering side eye were aligned with her panache for late night television, with a particular affinity for David Letterman and later Jimmy Kimmel.

Ruth is survived by her four daughters, Diane R. McNairn, Hagerstown, MD, Donna McNairn, Frederick, MD, Debra (McNairn) Kennedy, Savannah,GA, and Denise McNairn (Walt Rhee), Myersville, MD, and two granddaughters, Jami (Mills)(husband, Eric) Pearce, and Jacquelyn Kennedy, of Abington, PA, and Savannah, GA, respectively, and loyal feline companion, Veena (originally from South Plainfield, NJ), as well as her sisters Edna Wyand and Joyce Ernst, of Keedysville, MD and Mercersburg, PA, respectively, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The Rest Haven Cemetery & Funeral Home, Hagerstown is assisting the family with arrangements. There will not be a visitation at the funeral home. Family may attend a private funeral service held graveside at St. Paul Lutheran Church Cemetery, Clear Spring, MD.


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations or contributions be made to a charity consistent with her support of children and women’s rights: Children’s Defense Fund and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Elizabeth McNairn, please visit our flower store.


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