RUTH ANN MCCANNELL
July 7, 1935 – July 18, 2020
HOULTON - GY/SGT. RUTH ANN MCCANNELL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, RETIRED, 85, died on July 18, 2020, in Bangor. Ruth was born in Princeton, ME, the daughter of Neil and Cordelia (Norton) McCannell. She was a graduate of Princeton High School where she lettered all four years in basketball, was a member of the varsity team her sophomore through senior years, and was Team Captain her senior year. Throughout her high school years, she achieved second prize Junior Speaking, Business Manager 3, candidate for Queen, and her senior year Class President.
Upon graduation from high school in 1954, Ruth enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where she served her country honorably for 30 years. After completing basic training at Parris Island, S.C., she was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA where she was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant, on June 1, 1957, for her excellence in her job as an Accountant. Her second tour of duty was at 1st Marine Corps District, Long Island, N.Y. where she pursued her Primary Military Occupational Specialty in Accounting. She earned a Meritorious Mast for Outstanding Performance and Attention to Duty and at the same time was among one of the first Marines to be awarded Outstanding Effectiveness Pay. Her career continued as Marine Recruiter, in Kansas City, MO, where she received under Military Occupational Specialty 8411 proficiency pay based on superior performance. In June of 1964, she was also nominated for appointment under the fiscal year 1965 Warrant Officer Program and again in March of 1966 she was recommended for selection to Second Lieutenant.
After returning as a Recruiter for a second time, in Kansas, MO, she received from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., a letter of noteworthy achievement with a Silver Medallion for widespread recognition for Women Marines on their 25th anniversary. For the support given by Ruth to the Marine Corps Parents Organization of Kansas City, MO during the Vietnam War, she received from them a Certificate of Appreciation. Ruth completed Non-Commissioned Officers School, in Quantico, VA, and Recruiters School, in Parris Island, S.C.
She completed courses in accounting and budget from the Marine Corps Institute, Washington, D.C.
Ruth earned many awards and promotions throughout her 30-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. She received the Good Conduct Medal with Silver Star (six awards), Campaign Medal with Bronze Star (two awards) for both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. She also received the Marine Recruiting Medal and the Marine Corps Commemorative Medal; and, most recently, in 2020, she received a medal and certificate from the State of Maine thanking her for her Vietnam service.
Although Ruth was very proud of these achievements her most proud moment came when she personally attended the Dedication Ceremony of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial located at the Main Entrance to Arlington National Cemetery. The Memorial honors and holds the history of all women who have served honorably in every branch of military service. Those names are forever etched in the history of the United States of America, Military, and Family Heritage.
Upon Ruth’s retirement she returned home to her beloved Maine and family. She lived in her home overlooking East Grand Lake where she entertained family and friends for many years. Other than her time growing up in Princeton, ME, and serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, this was what she considered the happiest years of her life.
Ruth was predeceased by her parents; sisters- Joyce McFarland, Marilyn Turner and husband Stuart, and Florence Inman and husband Charles; brothers- Oscar and wife Kathleen, James and wife Lou, Willis and wife Myrtle, Neil and wife Dorothy, John and wife Cathy, Donald and wife Essie, Richard, and Phillip; nieces Sharon and Karen; and, nephews Jeff and Robert.
Ruth Ann is survived by over 100 nieces and nephews who she loved very much and who loved her in return. “Aunt Ruth Ann” always thanked her brothers and sisters for allowing her to be an intricate part of their children’s lives. She always accepted this gift with love and respect for the goodness her nieces and nephews contributed to her life. She is also survived by her dear cousins, the Baileys, of Princeton and Grand Lake Stream, her many Bingo friends of Maine and many more friends who were always there for the Sarge. Last, but not least, Ruth “Sarge” wished for a special thank you and love be bestowed upon her doctor and friend, Dr. Ted Sussman, and his staff, of Houtlon, ME, who took care of her for over 30 years.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 1:00 pm, at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Section H, 163 Mt. Vernon Road, Augusta, ME. Per CDC guidelines, service is limited to 50 attendees, therefore, the service will be live-streamed* for family and friends who wish to attend virtually. Ruth wished for the American flag to be presented to her dear niece, Patsy McCannell. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or at www.stjude.org, in memory of all McCannells. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.BrookingsSmith.com or sent to Patsy McCannell, 76 Carter Woods, Bradley, ME 04411.
The live streaming link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89037397903