On Monday, July 26, 2021, Ruth Boyd Wilson, a loving mother, sister, wife, and grandmother, passed away at the age of 98. Ruth was born on February 28, 1923 to Ernest C. Boyd and A. Beatrice Simpson Boyd, from Worcester, MA and Nova Scotia respectively.
Ruth grew up in Worcester and attended college at Cornell University. Here, she met Jim while he was in officer’s candidate school for the Marines. They married November 25, 1944. This moment began a growing and honored legacy that now spans generations.
Ruth and James had four children: Susan, Doug, Sally, and Jeffery. Ruth and James lived in Worcester and Springfield, MA before moving to the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, VA. Here, Ruth learned to ride horses with her eldest daughter Susan, who began winning in competitive horse shows on base. The passion spread to Jim and Doug who carved out a place for a paddock they built together in their own backyard. After a brief transfer to North Carolina, Jim was transferred to Quantico and then the Pentagon, during which time the family settled into their farm known as Hidden Hollow in Warrenton, VA. Here, Sally and Jeff joined in the equestrian sport showing and raising horses.
Ruth joined the Ashland Bassetts where she began a long sporting career. She held the titles of Joint Master, Field Master, and Master at various times between 1976-2003 and even secured a photo feature in GQ Magazine’s coverage of the rise of the sport. She and her family also regularly attended the Old Dominion Point to Point Races, holding their signature spot 83 for 25+ years. She joined The Blue Ridge Garden Club where she collected blue, red, yellow, and white ribbons year after year.
In 1968, she and Jim visited Maine, where they fell in love with the outdoors, skiing, and snow. “Just to be outside, in the beauty and the exercise. And I can do it!” said Ruth during a feature on cross country skiing in “The Original Irregular.” They built the first of two homes in Maine, the first of which they sold to build their farm in Hume, VA in 1987. The couple returned to Maine to build their second home in Rangley where they spent several months every year. Their children, grandchildren, and great children visited often, falling in love with the snow, skiing, and simplicity of nature as Ruth and Jim did.
Ruth taught second and first graders at Highland School. She also became an avid quilter and knitter. Wicker weaving and rug braiding rounded out her artistic skills and hobbies.
Ruth has eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her brother Alden Boyd, husband Lieutenant Colonel James Jay Wilson, and son Doug Wilson.
A memorial service will be held at Leeds Episcopal Church (4332 Leeds Manor Road, Markham, VA 22643) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 14. A reception is following in the Parish Hall.
Gifts may be made in Ruth’s honor to the Ashland Bassets at P.O. Box 184, Warrenton VA, 20188.