Ruth was born September 23, 1922 in Zurich, Switzerland to Max and Louisa Bosshard (Jenzowsky). She was the second child, with older brother, Werner and younger brother, Jean. She spent her childhood enjoying riding her bicycle through city streets and being a Girl Scout. She was a talented artist and painted beautiful scenes on china. She recounted times of having to help deliver horse hair mattresses which her grandmother made in a handcart, of their family taking in French children refugees and hearing bomber planes fly over their city during WWII. Following her training in business administration, she was proud of her employment as a secretary. Ruth met Eric in 1944 on a blind date and later was engaged. After Eric secured employment in the United States, Ruth made a pleasurable journey across the ocean on the New Amsterdam with her wedding trousseau and all of her gifts. She and Eric married on June 18, 1949; the recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
For Ruth, adjusting to American ways and speaking English was difficult at first, but she delighted in her children, Helen, Judy and Heidi. Her love of nature was evident in her gardening and appreciation of wildlife. On one occasion, she rescued an orphaned family of Flycatchers, feeding them with eye droppers and tweezers until they were able to fly away. She loved the trees which surrounded her home, always grateful. "We are so lucky to have this place."
Ruth belonged to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Uwchlan Garden Club, the Women’s Community Club of Uwchlan, the Lionville Elementary School PTA, South Eastern Orchid Society and Delaware Orchid Society. During her years as Girl Scout leader in Freedom Valley, she focused on the importance teamwork, being outdoors, and practicality. For example, she taught her scouts sewing and First Aid. Ruth enjoyed pets, giving a loving home to a succession of several lucky cats, Fluffy and Rusty, dogs like Reto, their St. Bernard and several Labrador Retrievers (Ralph, Happy, Vrenili, Ruby, Legs and Ella).
In the late 60s, Ruth and Eric began growing, collecting and exhibiting orchids. This led to the opening of Bittmann’s Orchids in 1978, a thriving florist business, in which Ruth designed bouquets and arrangements for 36 years. She also completed many oil paintings. Even in her retirement, Ruth remained busy, knitting baby blankets and prayer shawls for her church.
Ruth never lost her Swiss accent. Her secrets to her long life and smooth skin was "Having a good man and eating chocolate." Her positive and grateful outlook influenced all she did and inspired the many people whom she met.
At 97 years old, Ruth died peacefully in her home, surrounded by family on February 12. She is preceded in death by her parents, brothers, niece, Susanne Bosshard and son-in law, Richard Dlugosz. She is survived by her husband, Eric, daughters Helen Sysko (John), Judy Dlugosz, Heidi Bittmann (Jean Ahrensfield), grandchildren, Laura Davis (Michael) and Peter Sysko. and three great grandchildren, Liliane Sysko, Lia and Sadie Davis and nieces in Switzerland, Maja Bosshard, Dani Bosshard, Caty Bosshard (Boris Spassky) and Liselotte Goepel-Bosshard and their families.
Visitation will be held on Saturday March 21st at 10 am at St Paul’s Lutheran Church 104 S. Village Avenue, Exton, PA , followed by her memorial service at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a cause which is important to you and eat a piece of Swiss chocolate.