More than a marker

ruthwilmarthBY STACI WILSON

For many years, Ruth Wilmarth worked behind the scenes supporting the work of her husband Ray’s endeavors as the president of the Endless Mountains Health Systems Board of Directors.

The board worked toward fundraising for construction of Phase I and Phase II of the new EMHS facility.

“Along the way, both of my parents died,” Ruth said. “There’s a gravestone in a cemetery with there names on it and that’s it.”

Her parents – J. Howard and Kathryn Wickizer – did not do anything for recognition.

“Dad helped so many people in his lifetime,” she said. “He had good values and did a wonderful job raising his family.”

J. Howard Wickizer’s father bought a farm in the Forest Lake area before the Great Depression, Ruth said. The family’s permanent residence was in Scranton, but frequently visited and spent time on the farm.

In 1949, the family permanently moved to Susquehanna County, purchasing a home in Brooklyn Twp. “When the war was over, we came back up here,” Ruth said. “And they lived there the rest of their lives.”

Although Ruth prefers to stay in the background, “I wanted to do something on my own for the hospital.” But she wondered if her parents would approve of a donation in their name to the facility.

Ruth decided to donate to the waiting room and lab. “That’s where they would go if they went to the hospital,” she said. “I wanted something permanent with their name on it that’s not in a cemetery.”

The waiting room of the lab is dedicated in their memory and commemorated with a plaque that hangs on the wall.

EMHS Development Officer Rex Catlin said there are a number of giving opportunities available.

Fundraising continues for the construction of Phase III, and Catlin said there continues to be equipment needs.

“All donations are very much appreciated,” he said.

For information on donation opportunities, contact Rex Catlin at: or call 570-278-3801 ext. 3200.

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