WATERVILLE – Ruth L. Irving, loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and devoted teacher, succumbed to Parkinson’s disease Monday, Oct. 22, 2007, at Oak Grove Rehabilitation Center, Waterville. A central Maine resident and MSAD No. 3 teacher since 1970, Ruth was born June 8, 1935, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Rev. George and Annetta Lewis. In her youth she enjoyed playing the clarinet in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and the Springfield High School band. Ruth earned her Bachelor of Arts in education from West Chester State Teachers College, where she met and married fellow West Chester student, Harry L. Irving Jr., and embarked on a 36-year marriage that took Ruth and Harry from the suburbs of southern New Jersey to the rural Waldo County setting of Troy, where they were thrilled to purchase the Bernard B. Cook property and spent the next 20 years making it a home and raising their family. Harry died in 1993 and Ruth had struggled ever since with the loss of her husband and good friend who made her laugh or at least smile every day. His infectious humor was the perfect balance to her tendency to worry. Many people will remember Mrs. Irving as a calming influence in their tumultuous junior high years. Not only an excellent teacher, she was a friend and mentor, good listener and could be counted on to offer encouragement to all her students, no matter how long ago they had left her classroom. Ruth was an important part of the junior high team from the day Mount View Junior High School opened. In addition to her main course of reading/ language arts, she helped establish a gifted and talented program, volunteered tirelessly with extra curricular activities and proudly helped co-found the S.H.A.R.E. committee. Her sabbatical was spent taking courses at University of Southern Maine for a graduate degree in gifted education and administration. A thrifty person by nature, Ruth saved her entire adult life to put four children through college, including son, Harry’s medical training Ruth was very active with the Unity Food Bank and at Troy Union Church. She was a lifelong member of the Democratic party and an active participant in the Maine Teachers Association. She enjoyed memorable trips to Alaska, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and California, after her retirement, and had always wanted to visit China and Brazil, but never got the chance. Ruth was a kind and gentle person who passed on her love of books and fine old things, the importance of family and the belief that it does “take a village to raise a child,” as evidenced by her care and concern for everyone, from the quietest student in the back of her class to other newcomers to Troy in the early 1970s, who struggled to stay warm and fed. Ruth’s kitchen was always welcoming. Her dream late in life was to see her beloved grandchildren grow up and flourish, and to attend their graduations and weddings. She will be there in spirit. Ruth is survived by her family who will always miss her, daughter, Heather Irving and her partner, Armando, of Orlando, Fla.; son, Harry L. Irving III and wife, Lisa, and daughters, Nia, Brogan and Taija Liberty, of Fairfield; daughter, Holly Irving-Johnson and husband, Peter, and daughters, Abigail, Katherine and Mary, of Winter Springs, Fla.; daughter, Heidi Naughton and husband, Kevin, and children, Liam, Daly and Claire, of Darien, Conn.; sisters, Elizabeth and husband, Don Raker, and Barbara Julian; brother, George and wife, Thea Lewis; sisters-in-law, Anne and husband, John Sullivan, and Ann Irving; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Harry; and brothers-in-law, Doug Julian and John T. Irving Sr. The family greatly appreciated those special friends who visited her frequently and kept her spirits up during the last few difficult years, Maggie Wilcox, Edwyna Orchard and Lucy Mitchell. Interment at the family plot at Webster Hill Cemetery will be private, but a memorial service will be held at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations with check made out to Future MSAD No. 3, Mount View Performing Arts Center P.O. Box 151, Unity, ME 04988 or Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 785, Camden, ME 04843. To best honor the spirit of Ruth Irving, remember to care about others and your world. Arrangements are with Lawry Brothers Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 107 Main St., Fairfield. Condolences may be expressed at www.lawrybrothers.com