Ruth Margaret Freytag French (1917-2017)

Ruth Margaret Freytag French (1917-2017)

[Photo of Ruth taken when she turned 100-years-old.]
Ruth Margaret Freytag French died peacefully on July 3, 2017 at the age of 100. She was very sharp, even as she reached her century milestone, and was an avid reader and insatiable learner throughout her life. Stacks of natural history and anthropology books were always within her reach, and she stayed current on world affairs through the Wall Street Journal, Economist magazine and the Internet.
Ruth was well-known as an important part of the Fillmore community, especially for her invaluable role in the medical practice of her husband, Dr. William F. French. She kept the medical and financial records, and often worked at the office helping patients or developing x-ray film.
Ruth was born on April 4, 1917 in Rock Island, Illinois, as the first and only child of Dr. Charles Freytag and Marion Beatty Freytag. When Ruth was five, they moved to Hollywood, California, where Dr. Freytag re-established his family medical practice.
In Latin class at Hollywood High School, Ruth met her future husband, William French. Following graduation in 1934, Ruth and William commuted together from Hollywood to UCLA, where they both completed pre-med science courses. Then William attended USC Medical School and Ruth headed north for graduate school in nutrition at UC Berkeley. They were married in 1941.
During WWII, Ruth worked at Los Angeles County Hospital as a dietitian while William was a medical doctor on the front lines in Germany in a US Army tank battalion. After William completed his residency at Ventura County Hospital in 1948, Ruth helped him establish his medical practice in Fillmore. The role of a small-town doctor, including making house calls and delivering babies, filled their lives
Beginning with trips to Europe in the 1950s, Ruth and William traveled extensively, so Ruth took great interest in the world-wide adventures of her daughters and grandchildren.
She was an enthusiastic birdwatcher and fed hundreds of quail and hummingbirds.
Classical music always enriched Ruth’s life, and her daughters savor childhood memories of their mother playing the grand piano.
Ruth is survived by three daughters: Penelope Kaplan, in New Jersey; Cathy Chaparro (Fernando), in Pennsylvania; and Susan French (Rich Arnold), in California. Ruth has seven grandchildren: William (Jennifer), Camila (Paul), Juan (Mandy), Daniel, Laina, Erika and Juliana; and five great-grandchildren: Isabel, Sebastian, Peter, Silas and Louise Ruth. We give thanks to her loved caregiver, Martha Aguilera, who has become part of our family.