In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Ruth Isabel Brown


Captains Writer, WRCNS


Born: 29 Oct 1919, Ensleigh, Alberta


Died: 08 Dec 2021, Ottawa, Ontario


BROWN, Ruth Isabel - died December 8, 2021, at Ottawa, of natural causes, aged 105. She left surviving her nieces, Brenda Brochu, Esther Brown and Beverley Brown, grandniece Denise Brochu, grandnephew Vincent Brochu and their families. She was predeceased by her parents and brother Bob Brown.


Ruth was born in Ensleigh, Alberta on October 29, 1916. Her father returned from WWI only to die in the flu epidemic of 1919. Her mother was forced to move back to her family's farm, near Daysland east of Camrose. Ruth experienced first-hand the drought and hardship of the Great Depression on a western farm. By the time WWII broke out in 1939 she was working for the Alberta Department of Education in Edmonton. She enlisted in the WRENs and served in Scotland as a "captain's writer" attached to HMCS Naden. It was a transformational experience. After discharge she obtained a B.A. from Queen's followed by a M.S.W. from U. of T. After graduation she worked in the field of child welfare in Toronto. She then moved to Ottawa to work in policy for the Department of Health and Welfare where she was involved with the development of the Canada Health Act and universal medical insurance. Throughout her life she exhibited dignity, exceptional discipline, intelligence, and a profound determination to be independent. She cherished her health, her house, her life and friends in the Glebe, a parade of cats, an array of newspapers and paradoxically, ballroom dancing. She was an inspiration to all.


Thanks to Murray Young, Carolyn Scott-McIntyre and their families, the staff at Billings Lodge, including the retired Alain Brunet and nurse Diane Juhasz, and many more, for their care and support in recent years.


Cremation has taken place. Donations can be made to an animal aid charity or Doctors without Borders. (The Ottawa Citizen 18 Dec 2021)



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