Ruth D. Hummel, retired bookkeeper

January 18, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Ruth D. Hummel, a retired bookkeeper and former Northwood resident, died Jan. 10 from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the Brightwood retirement community in Lutherville. She was 89.

Ruth D. Franz was born in Baltimore and was raised on Rockdale Avenue and later in Gardenville.

She was a 1937 graduate of Seton High School and worked during the late 1930s as a bookkeeper at the old O'Neill's department store in downtown Baltimore.

During World War II, she served in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve and held assignments in Washington and LaJolla, Calif. She was discharged with the rank of corporal at war's end.

After the war, she worked as a cost accountant at the Rheem Manufacturing Co. until the birth of her first child.

Mrs. Hummel entered college on the G.I. Bill and was 50 years old when she earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from Johns Hopkins University in 1969.

For more than 20 years, she was the bookkeeper for Cochran, Stephenson & Donkervoet, a Baltimore architectural firm. She retired in 1984.

Mrs. Hummel, who lived at Brightwood since 2005, enjoyed preparing Sunday family dinners. She was known for her fried chicken and hot milk cake with chocolate icing, family members said.

She was a world traveler and an avid gardener. She was also an Orioles fan.

Her husband of 30 years, Paul Frederick William Hummel, who was 50 when he earned his law degree, died in 1976.

Mrs. Hummel was a former member of the Northwood Appold United Methodist Church.

"My grandmother was a Methodist who went to the Catholic church and prepared seder dinners. She was also a German who went to Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone," said a grandson, Brendan Sullivan.

A memorial service was held yesterday.

Also surviving are two sons, Mark S. Hummel of Hamilton and John P. Hummel of Reston, Va.; two daughters, Patricia D. Sullivan of Roland Park and Rosemary P. Mattes of Perry Hall; seven other grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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