Ruthena Warren Tudbury, 87, longtime Howard Co. activist

January 02, 1998|By Stacey P. Patton | Stacey P. Patton,SUN STAFF

Ruthena Warren Tudbury, a longtime activist in Howard County who worked for world peace and women's rights, died Sunday of pneumonia at St. Agnes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ellicott City. She was 87.

The Boston-area native graduated from Newton High School and Mount Holyoke College, where she studied art and history.

Shortly after graduation, Mrs. Tudbury began a career as a volunteer activist that would span seven decades in Detroit; Lakewood, Ohio; White Plains, N.Y.; and Howard County, where her work was curtailed in 1991 by arthritis.

Mrs. Tudbury's activities included membership in the League of Women Voters and serving as president of the Greater White Plains Council of Community Services, which involved work for the Red Cross.

She also was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, where she headed various women's groups.

"Volunteering kept her stimulated and interested in people and her surrounding community," said her daughter Martha Hamill of Columbia. "Volunteering kept her on top of the world.

"Mom was a very dedicated woman. She lived in her activism," Ms. Hamill said.

Ruthena Warren married Chester Tudbury in 1936. The couple moved to Ellicott City in 1979.

In the early 1980s, Mrs. Tudbury helped launch the Howard County Campaign for the Institute of Peace, which helped lead to establishment in 1984 of the U.S. Institute of Peace, designed to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflicts.

In recognition of her dedication to world peace, a tree was planted in her honor in Howard County's Centennial Park in 1990.

Plans for a memorial service in April are incomplete. Mrs. Tudbury donated her body to the State Anatomy Board for medical science.

She is survived by her husband; two other daughters, Mary Ann Bebko of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Frances Hunter of Bucksport, Maine; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 1/02/98

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