Ruth Anne Wilcox, age 85, of Saxe, Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Annie Hansen; a sister, Mary Smith.

She is survived by her life partner, John Vaughan; two nieces, one nephew; one brother-in-law; and lifelong friends whom she considered her family, Faye Trent and children.

Ruth served in the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel until her retirement in 1998. She then worked for HCR ManorCare as an Administrator. She was a faithful member of Hebron Methodist Church and a volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA, P.O. Box 66, Meherrin, VA 23954. The Browning-Duffer Funeral Home in Keysville, VA is in charge of arrangements.


Condolence Messages

  1. Julie

    06 September 2023 6 months ago

    Ruth taught so many people how to be excellent leaders at HCR-ManorCare. She legacy lives in all of us who were mentored by her.

  2. DeAnna Powell

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    My memories with Ruth are so extensive that my mind is tumbling with them. The countries we traveled in together Spain, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia where we laughed, got lost and had unforgettable experiences. She was a dear, kind friend who I will miss tho my own illness stopped me from spending more time with her. I will miss you my friend for you were always ready to go on a trip. I know you are in heaven and that is a comfort.

  3. Alyssa Pischel

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    Ruth had such an impact on my development as a new Administrator. I still share her stories and quotes on ensuring we remember the privilege of caring for people. My prayers and thoughts are with her family during this time. She was deeply respected and impacted so many lives.

  4. Fred Massoll, LNHA at HCR 1999 through 2018

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    Ruth was more than an Administrator, she was a LEADER, she inspired, coached, encouraged and was an amazing person! She was lovely

  5. Kathy Hutchison

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    Ruth was an amazing woman and mentor to so many HCR employees, including me. She shared so many life lessons and helped others succeed in their job and life. Rest in peace.

  6. Rebecca Daly

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    Ruth was a friend and a giver whose love for her fellow beings knew no boundaries. Her strong spirit and lifetime of service to others will never be forgotten.

  7. Kristina Jackson

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    September 7, 2023

    I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of my Aunt, Ret. Lt. Col. Ruth A. Wilcox (Army National guard). It has only been 1 yr since I lost her sister, my Mother, Mary (Hansen) Smith. Ruth leaves behind many relatives from one coast of the USA to the other. Besides her brother in law, there are two nieces, one nephew, 5 great nieces, 7 great nephews, 4 great-great nieces and many cousins. To her immediate family, myself, my siblings and our children, she was always fondly known as “Rufus”. A larger than life, whirlwind of a woman. She cared deeply for her country, community, family and friends. She was a very caring, kind, considerate and generous woman and will be greatly missed.

    Ruth and her sister Mary spent their early years on the Powell family farm in Saxe, Va. Her father Mstr. Gunnery Sgt. USMC, Cecil A. Hansen married Annie Powell and was soon after called to war. He spent many years away as a Marine and was on Pearl Harbor when bombed. It was a family story that Ruth had no idea who he was when he was finally able to come home and asked her Mother “who is that man”? In no time at all she was his biggest fan. In 1950 the Hansen family relocated to Enterprise, KS. Cecil’s family was living in Kansas. Ruth attended the area schools and after high school she attended and graduated from Stormont Vail, Topeka, KS as a Registered Nurse.After nursing in the local area for some years she joined the Navy and became a Naval WAC. It was during those years that she met and married her only husband, Peter Wilcox who was also serving in the Navy and had become wounded. She was his hospital nurse. The marriage, as so often happens, did not last and there were no children. She and Peter did remain on good terms and she dearly loved his mother “Mom Wilcox”. Some of my fondest memories were of spending time at Rufus & Uncle Pete’s house.

    Ruth continued her education throughout her life and furtherd her career through the National Guard and as an administrator for HCR Manor Care. One of her greatest joys was traveling for Manor Care to teach classes.

    Ruth had a deep love for many things, her Country, family, the Military, traveling, her cabin home in rural Saxe, VA., birds, dogs, her Church, gardening and serving others. She always “wanted to help”. Unlike most of us, Ruth never wanted to retire but to work forever, if she could.

    There is so much more to her life than a few words can convey. She was dearly loved and will be forever missed by her family and the many people she touched during her Earthly life. We are comforted to know she will no longer be in pain and is with the family she meant so much to. May God rest her soul.

    Kristina Jackson, Wichita, KS

  8. Mickey Cochran

    07 September 2023 6 months ago

    Knew Ruth as a co worker at the old hcr and in the National Guard and as a friend. Had. Not seen her for many years but will always remember her.

  9. Nerina Stepanovsky

    08 September 2023 6 months ago

    So sorry to hear about Ruth’s passing. She was a great mentor and role model for me when I entered the Ohio Army National Guard as a very young, green 2nd Lt . I learned so much from her. She was always compassionate and served as an advocate for patients. She also knew how to have fun, and we did on various exercises and at the armory. May God bless her and her family.

  10. Joseph Kohut, Retired MSC, LTC

    08 September 2023 6 months ago

    Ruth Wilcox was such an influence in the Ohio National Guard! I worked with her throughout my Ohio NG career. She was Chief Nurse of the 145th MASH and was a fearless leader. She imparted all her knowledge to all those who came in contact with her. The success of our missions were largely due to her nursing contributions. She will be missed but her memories will be forever! God Bless Ruth! May you be at peace!

  11. Patty G

    09 September 2023 6 months ago

    It would be impossible for me to identify all the ways Ruth has been a part of my life. From the first time I interviewed her, to my retirement, to her retirement and subsequent time until now, she has been a honorary big sister, a friend and a joy to know. She never failed to be interested in my life and held my hand through some very rough spots along the way. I have missed that hand in mine over the last couple of years and will always be glad I can say she was my friend.

  12. Shelley Kelley

    10 September 2023 5 months ago

    As I have read the above condolences I add Ruth touched so many lives in amazing ways. I see several people I worked with in the past with HCR not realizing how many years she and I spent traveling in the same circles bumping into one another in hotel lobbies restaurant etc etc. She taught me things and I still have my White Glove and recommend the sniff committee in all nursing facilities I encounter Rest In Peace My friend
    Shelley Kelley

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