Title: Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade, Nurse Corps, World War II, Korean War
Birthdate: January 2, 1920
Death Date: September 18, 1993
Plot Location: Section 141, Lot 46 , southeast quarter
Ruth was the daughter of Ralph and Marie Jackson, and the granddaughter of Irish immigrants with quite a Presbyterian pedigree. Her father was one of six sons, four of whom were Presbyterian ministers, as were five of their sons. Ralph had two twin brothers who were premature and a sister who died at age 7, and they are buried in Section 24, Lot 74. Two other brothers, William and James were also buried here.
Ralph had an eight-month stint with the Marine Corps that began three weeks before Armistice Day. As a married man his job was a sales supervisor for Philadelphia Gas Works followed by appliance sales at the Strawbridge & Clothier department store. His most fulfilling job was joining his wife in raising their two daughters, Ruth and her younger sister, Dorothy. In 1937 this photo shows Ruth as one of 575 graduating seniors at West Philadelphia High School. With such a large class, she may not have known her classmate, Bill McKnight, who gave his life serving his country seven years later. His story is told here because his grave is also at Mount Moriah in Section K.
As the world edged closer to war in 1940, Ruth was at Hahnemann Medical College studying to be a nurse. She would have just missed having an instructor who retired in 1937. Sarah Annabel Smith taught there for many years after serving as a World War I Army nurse, and is another Notable person who is also buried here.
Ruth enlisted in the Navy’s Nurse Corps in August, 1944, starting at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia and ending two years later in San Francisco. She returned to live with her parents in her childhood home on Addison Street in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood. The 1950 census lists her living in a nurses’ dorm at Northeastern Hospital in Philadelphia as a student nurse. Two years later she became Ruth Marie Marks, although nothing has been discovered about her husband, family life, and later career.
However, she came back to the Navy to serve during the Korean War. Her enlistment date is missing but she held the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade at her discharge on March 9, 1954. Ruth’s mother died in 1983 and was the first in the immediate family to be buried at Mount Moriah. Her father outlived Ruth by one year, which explains why the gravestone refers to her as “our daughter.”
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