Longtime friend devoted to volunteerism, philanthropy

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Mackenzie Health and Mackenzie Health Foundation lost a dear friend with the passing of longtime volunteer and generous donor Ruth Coxford.

Mackenzie Health and Mackenzie Health Foundation lost a dear friend with the passing of longtime volunteer and generous donor Ruth Coxford last month.

The much beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many passed away August 4 after a short illness in her 89th year with members of her family by her side.

Ruth and her husband, Stewart, moved with their young family in 1957 to the small town of Richmond Hill, where Stewart had started a business. The Coxfords quickly became active members of the community. Ruth participated with pride as Richmond Hill was transformed from a farm town to the ethnically diverse, culturally rich suburban community it is today.

Inclusive and accepting of all others, Ruth aspired to meet the needs of family, friends and strangers with individual care and attention. Following a successful career at North American Life Assurance Company, Ruth devoted her life to volunteerism, which had an extensive impact on the quality of life of others.

She was active with the Home and School Association, United Church Women, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and, most especially, York Central Hospital (now Mackenzie Health). She was a founding member of the Hospital’s Volunteer Association and, for 50 years, gave most generously of her time, doing everything from admitting patients in Emergency and taking photos of newborns to assisting in palliative care and, most recently, in the Chemotherapy Clinic.

The Coxfords also supported their community hospital as unfailingly kind and generous donors. In 2006, the Chemotherapy Clinic was named the Ruth and Stewart Coxford and Family Chemotherapy Clinic. Ruth was proud to support the work of her doctor, oncologist Dr. Matilda Ng. Ruth also served on the Foundation Board of Directors and was a founding member of the Board of Hill House Hospice. The Town of Richmond Hill recognized Ruth’s incredible commitment to public service with its Volunteer Achievement Award in both 2007 and 2012.

Ruth and Stewart celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last February. Their love grew deeper with every passing year and Stewart has lost his best friend.

Ruth was the loving mother to their three children, Susan Busby (Bob), Stephen Coxford (Kathy) and Nancy Coxford. She will also be missed and remembered by her grandchildren, Allison Anderson (Drew), Kate Busby, Peter Coxford, Andrew Coxford and Thomas Coxford, along with great-grandchildren Ella, Darcy and Charlotte Anderson.