Ruth R. Startt, 94, Talbot County register of wills

April 26, 2006

Ruth R. Startt, a retired Talbot County register of wills and Easton civic activist, died Sunday at Talbot Hospice House. She was 94, and family members said she died of infirmities related to old age.

An Easton native and 1928 graduate of Easton High School, she earned a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg in 1933.

She taught school for a year before being appointed as a deputy register of wills in 1934. She held that position until 1952, when she was appointed register of wills to complete a term. In 1954, she was elected as register - believed to be the first woman elected to public office in Talbot County - and served four terms before retiring in 1966.

Miss Startt was a past president of the Register of Wills Association of Maryland and served on the state's Henderson Commission that examined and made recommendations on revising inheritance tax and probate laws. She had also served on Talbot's Democratic central committee.

She had been active in area business, charitable and civic organizations, including the board of the Community Concert Association of Talbot County, and was a past president of the St. Joseph's College Alumnae Association and past board secretary of Memorial Hospital at Easton.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Easton, where she had been a lifetime member, taught Sunday School and had been an organizer of the drive to build its school.

Survivors include a sister, Anastasia Startt Cooper of Easton, and 23 nieces and nephews.

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