January 21, 2020

Ruth M. (Paddock) Bedore

Died Feb. 17, 2019


Ruth Myra (Paddock) Bedore, 102, died Feb. 17, 2019, at Spectrum United Rehabilitation and Long Term Care.

Ruth was born Jan. 25, 1917, in Cromwell, Conn., daughter of the late Lena (Manwaring) Paddock and Walter Wells Paddock. She graduated from Middletown High School, Middletown, Conn., in 1935 and Sargent College of Boston University in 1939. Upon her graduation from Sargent as a physical therapist, she took a position at St Luke’s Hospital in Marquette. During her first year at St. Luke’s, a major polio epidemic broke out in the area, leaving the hospital short of beds and iron lungs. Ruth accompanied 40 children to Bay Cliff Health Camp where “iron lungs” were created with wood and driven by vacuum cleaner motors to meet the need.

While in Marquette, she met and married Clifford J. Bedore Jr. on June 14, 1941. Following their marriage, the Bedores moved to Ironwood, where Ruth was the physical therapist for the orthopedic classroom in the Ironwood Schools. After her husband returned from serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, the couple moved to West Branch, where Ruth had a part-time private practice as a physical therapist while raising a family. In 1960, the family moved to Sault Ste. Marie, where she worked full-time as a physical therapist for the orthopedic classroom. In 1964, the family moved to Greenville to be close to Cliff while he finished his doctorate at Michigan State. She was hired by United Memorial Hospital (now Spectrum United) to start a physical therapy program and served as the director of that program until her retirement. She also served as the physical therapist for the MAISD and Sheridan Hospital, and also provided in-home physical therapy services in the area during these years.

Ruth was active in a number of nonprofit organizations in the area, particularly those working to help children and adults with disabilities. She volunteered with ARC Montcalm, the We Care for Kids Council, the Recipient’s Rights program and Parents Advisory Committee for Respite Care of Montcalm Center for Behavioral Health in addition to her work with the vestry and the Sunday school at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and her professional associations. She was honored for her efforts by ARC Montcalm, We Care for Kids and the Montcalm Center for Behavioral Health as well as being given the 1997 Distinguished Service Award from the Montcalm Chapter of the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel. She was a lifetime supporter of educational opportunities, and for her 100th birthday started a special grant program, the Ruth Paddock Bedore Transfer Award, to assist graduates of Montcalm Community College as they transferred to other colleges to continue their education.

In her “spare time,” Ruth enjoyed music and sewing as well as traveling through the U.S. (with multiple trips to Alaska), Canada and England, but family was most deeply important in her life and she organized visits to the family cottage as well as a number of family reunions as the generations grew. She was thrilled as each of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren joined the family and tried to make sure that as each of them became old enough, they learned about their great- and great-great-grandparents.

Ruth is survived by her children, Dana Bedore Phillips of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Greenville, Clifford J. (Bonnie) Bedore III of College Park, Md., Marian (Dan) Lilly of Greenville and Howard W. (Julie) Bedore of Grand Rapids; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 71 years; her brothers, Howard and Edwin Paddock; and her daughter, Melanie.

At her request, Ruth has been cremated. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 15, 2019, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Beginnings, Sheridan; The Ruth Paddock Bedore Transfer Award at Montcalm Community College Foundation; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or a charity of your choice.

Hurst Funeral Home is serving the Bedore family, and memories and messages of condolence may be shared at www.hurstfh.com.


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