Ruth F. Reardon (Powers)

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Ruth Frances Reardon (Powers)

Birthplace: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Death: July 02, 1989 (97)
Sherrill House, Jamaica Plain, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Edward B. Powers and Mary E. Powers
Wife of James Francis Reardon
Mother of Edward P. Reardon; James Gavin Reardon, Sr. and Ruth Reardon O'Brien
Sister of Mary C. Powers; Blanche C. Powers; Edward Powers; Frank Powers and Grace Powers

Occupation: English instructor at Worcester Normal School (now Worcester State College) in the 1920s
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ruth F. Reardon (Powers)

Ruth F. (Powers) Reardon was an American educator.

She was born on December 7, 1891 in Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Early Family Life

Ruth's parents were:

  • Edward B. Powers, b. September 1860 in Ossining, Westchester County, New York; son of Irish immigrants
  • Mary E. (Gavin) Powers, b. October 1864 in

West Boylston, Worcester, Massachusetts

Both of her parents were the children of Irish immigrants.

Ruth was the fourth of six children and the third of four girls. Her siblings were:

  • Mary C. Powers - b. March 1884
  • Blanche Powers - b. June 1887
  • Edward Powers - b. May 1888
  • Frank Powers - b. October 4, 1894 in Worcester
  • Grace Powers - b. 1901

Later Family Life

Ruth married James F. Reardon (b. July 25, 1896 - d. February 1976), a traffic officer in Worcester. Together, they had three children:

  1. Edward Reardon, b. 1926 in Worcester
  2. James G. Reardon, b. 1928 in Worcester
  3. Ruth (Reardon) O'Brien, b. December 16, 1931 in Worcester

Unusual for her time, community, and heritage, Ruth had her children when she was at ages 34, 36, and 40 -- considerably later in life that most of her peers.

After James' death in 1976, Ruth lived with her daughter's family in Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. This included her grandson Conan O'Brien, who later named the Simpsons character Ruth Powers after her when he was a writer for the show in the early 1990s.

Personal & Professional Life

After graduating from Worcester South High School, Ruth attended the Worcester Normal School, now Worcester State College. After her graduation, Ruth returned to the normal school to work as an English teacher during the 1920s. She was also a member of the Worcester Music Guild.

As an educator herself, Ruth placed utmost importance on her children's academic success:

  • Son Edward served in the United States Navy during World War II, after which he attended the College of the Holy Cross and Boston University Law School before becoming a prominent Worcester attorney.
  • Son James also attended Holy Cross and became a Worcester attorney, having graduated from the George Washington Law School. He was a founder and president of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys.
  • The younger Ruth attended Vassar College and was one of the earliest female students at Yale Law School before becoming a law partner at one of Boston's major firms.

According to her daughter, Ruth was a stickler for good academic performance and "proper decorum." The elder Ruth steered her daughter towards Vassar College because she had visited her uncle in Poughkeepsie growing up and developed a fondness for the institution, especially its emphasis on educating intelligent women.

Death & Burial

Ruth died on Friday, July 2, 1989 at the Sherrill House nursing home in Jamaica Plain, Boston. She was 95 years old. Though the Social Security Death Index gives her last residence as Worcester, she had been living with her daughter's family in Brookline at the time.

Her funeral Mass was held at 10 AM on Thursday, July 6, 1989 at Worcester's Blessed Sacrament Church. She was buried in the city at Saint John's Cemetery.


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Ruth F. Reardon (Powers)'s Timeline

December 7, 1891
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
January 28, 1926
Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
April 14, 1928
Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
December 16, 1931
Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
July 2, 1989
Age 97
Jamaica Plain, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States