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Ruth Elizabeth Ambrey

September 22, 1921 August 4, 2019
Ruth Elizabeth Ambrey
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Obituary for Ruth Elizabeth Ambrey

Ruth was born in Los Angeles, California, on September 22, 1921. Soon thereafter she traveled cross country by train with her late parents, Grace and Richard Burkert, and sister Carolyn Chorlton, to Hamilton Township, NJ, where they settled. Her younger brother Richard Burkert was born there. Ruth lived in the family home on Hollywood Drive for many years, enjoying working outside in her flower garden. She lived at Brandywine Assisted Living in Pennington for more than nine years until her passing on August 4, 2019 at the age of 97.

Ruth loved children and combined this with her nursing degree as a school nurse in the Hamilton Township schools for many years. She was very proud of her nursing degree from
The University of Pennsylvania, class of 1943, where she met her late husband Frank. Widowed at a young age with two small daughters, Susan and Sherry, Ruth returned to the College of New Jersey where she received her bachelor’s degree in school nursing.

In addition to her daughters Susan Kelly and Sherry Palo, she was well loved by her grandchildren. Ruth particularly adored the grandchildren and spent much of her free time entertaining them at Hollywood Drive. They loved her front porch where they played games, read books, and watched the neighbors go by. Ruth has enjoyed their visits and especially loved her family birthday celebrations on Cape Cod’s Mashnee Island, at the home of her daughter Sherry and son in law Edward Palo. These celebrations often included grandchildren Scott Palo and his wife Shannon Andrews, Julie and her husband Kevin Hayes, Colleen Kelly and her husband Stuart Braun, Peter Kelly and his former wife Elizabeth Casey, Wendy Kelly, and Matthew and his wife Anne Kelly along with a growing number of great grandchildren. Ruth loved to sit on the deck overlooking the ocean at Mashnee, reading and enjoying the company of family.

Her great grandchildren have given her great joy and their visits have been the highlights of her later years. They include Erik and Alex Palo from Niwot, Colorado, Grady, Ambrey, and Finn Hayes from Boston, MA, Sam and Grace Braun from Cohasset, MA, JR, Jasmine, Thomas, and Desmond Heffner from western MA, Betsy and Patrick Kelly from Pennington, NJ, and Gerise, Braiden, and Laura Kelly from Titusville, NJ.

Among her interests, particularly later in life, was tennis. She avidly followed the top players, especially on the women’s circuit, and closely watched many of the major tournaments. Ruth’s activities included membership in the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association. She stayed in touch with many of her classmates from her nurse’s training. Ruth belonged to the New Jersey Education Association. She was a member of the Trenton College Club, AAUW, and enjoyed their monthly book club meetings. A longtime congregant of the Bethel Lutheran Church, Ruth participated in the Parish Guild.

A private family memorial/celebration of life service will be held. Donations in her memory can be sent to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (mailing to TASK, PO Box 872, Trenton, NJ 08605) or Pennington First Aid Squad (110 Broemel Pl., Pennington, NJ 08534). Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, Pennington. Condolences are welcome at

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