Ruth K. McMahon
July 5, 2016

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  Ruth Kathleen (Riley) McMahon, a Veteran of World War II, passed away peacefully, on Tuesday evening, July 5, 2016. She was 98 years old.

Ruth was very proud to say that she was born in New York, New York. She was one of five children born to the late Dennis and Katherine Gleason. When she was just a young child her family moved to Lawrence where she would be raised and educated. She was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School Class of 1935. After high school she went on to obtain her nursing degree from St. John’s Hospital in Lowell in 1943.

Ruth craved to travel and see the world. She figured the best way to accomplish this was to serve her country. She enlisted in the United States Air Corps serving her country as a Nurse, with rank of Lieutenant, during World War II from 1943 to 1946. Ruth was a graduate of Army Air Forces School of Air Evacuation as a flight nurse in 1943. She was stationed in Bradley Field, CT as an Air Corps Nurse and Bowman Field, TX as a flight nurse. She served in WWII as a flight nurse and spent time in Europe/Italy. Ruth was the recipient of the EAME Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the American Theatre Ribbon with the Meritorious Service Unit Insignia. After the service Ruth had a long and distinguished nursing career at the Bedford V.A. and the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Ruth was a very independent woman with many interests and activities. She also was a devoted caregiver to her parents. She said she was too busy to settle down and get married but then she met Fred McMahon. They would marry on June 27, 1959. Ruth and Fred settled in the Winnmere section of Burlington in the early 1960’s. They lived in a wonderful neighborhood filled with lifelong friendships. Ruth had deep Catholic Faith. She was a longtime member of St. Margaret’s Parish in Burlington. Ruth and Fred spent a lot of time in the early years of St. Margaret’s helping to build the church. If there was an activity going on at the church, you could be sure that Ruth and Fred were involved. Ruth was always involved in the church bazaars with the “white elephant table” being her specialty.

It was while attending Sunday morning Mass at 7:30 that Ruth and Fred would meet Lucy and Stephen Carlin who would become an important part of their lives. Ruth was Godmother to their daughter Stephanie. Both Stephanie and her sister Barbara considered Ruth their grandmother and their children A.J., Ryan and Farlin were devoted great grandchildren to Ruth. Ruth enjoyed seeing Stephanie and Barbara grow up, play sports, being a part of their graduations, weddings and births of their sons, who she enjoyed watching run around.

Ruth and Fred enjoyed hosting many St. Patrick's Day parties at their basement bar, attended Christmas Eve parties and other holidays with the Carlin family. They enjoyed summer and 4th of July parties at their good friends Tom and Edie McGuiness’s pool. Ruth and Fred enjoyed going to lunch at Jimmy's on the Mall. They enjoyed traveling together. They would spend some of their retirement years vacationing in Myrtle Beach and Florida. Ruth was an active member of the Burlington Council on Aging. She enjoyed aerobics, square dancing and was recently a part of the celebration for the members of the Senior Center over 90 years old this past June with her picture being featured in the Burlington Union. She attended their lectures and was always interested in health and nutrition topics. Ruth was an avid reader and often would get lost in a book until the wee hours of the morning.

Ruth lived alone until she was 97 years old. It was at that time that she moved in with Lucy and Stephen Carlin who lovingly cared for Ruth. Ruth was truly blessed to live 98 years. She travelled the world, served her country and others as a Nurse, met the love of her life Fred, and was a part of the truly loving Carlin family.

Ruth was the beloved wife of the late Frederick T. She was the sister of the late Paul, Joseph, Augustine “Gus” & John Riley. Dear friend of Stephen & Lucy Carlin of Burlington. Grandmother of Barbara Mahoney & her husband Jeff of Waltham. Grandmother & Godmother of Stephanie DiRocco & her husband Tony of Fitchburg. Great grandmother of A.J., Ryan and Farlin. Aunt of Mike Sullivan & his wife Bonnie of GA.

A visitation will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Friday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church at Noon. Interment with Military Honors will be held in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Ruth’s name may be made to St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington, MA 01803.
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