Ruth Trewhella, a former resident of Provincetown, died on Dec. 29, 2020 in Tucson, Ariz. from complications related to Covid-19. She was 65.
Ruth was born on Sept. 19, 1955 and spent her early life in Manchester, Conn. before her family moved to South Windsor in 1964. She graduated from South Windsor High in 1973 and attended Lasell College before returning to Connecticut.
Ruth moved to Provincetown in 1981 and spent the next 11 years here as a year-rounder, working at various local institutions including the Lobster Pot, Napi’s Restaurant, and the Post Office Café. Her time here encompassed the most devastating years of the HIV-AIDS epidemic, and she volunteered to provide end-of-life care to many of her closest friends. Nonetheless, Ruth said that those years as part of the Provincetown community were among the best in her life.
Being present for the birth of her nephew Sean in 1989 ignited her desire to return to nursing school, a journey she began at Cape Cod Community College before transferring to UMass Boston in 1992, where she earned her B.S.N. in the College of Nursing in 1996. Ruth remained a passionate and dedicated advocate for people living with HIV-AIDS, working at Rosie’s Place in Boston as she finished her nursing studies. Following graduation, she worked at Mass. General Hospital as a staff nurse.
As an aunt, “Ue” loved her nephew and niece fiercely. She was also a dedicated Red Sox fan and a beach lover, and she had a huge heart for animals.
Ruth is survived by her father, Robert Trewhella of Natick; her sister, Tracy Taylor, and husband Doug of Bisbee, Ariz.; her brother, Jim Beebe-Woodard, and husband Travis of Underhill, Vt.; her nephew, Sean Roderick, and partner Amy Trueworthy of Rochester, N.H.; her niece, Sara Roderick, and fiancé Dennis Akey of South Burlington, Vt.; and her cousin, Geoffrey Cowles, and wife Carmel of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. She also leaves three step-brothers and their spouses: Robert and Blanca Woodard of Middletown, Conn.; Stephen and Linda Woodard of Marlborough; and Eric and Julia Woodard of Westwood; and the sister of her heart, Donna Vidam of Windsor, Conn.
Ruth’s mother, Gail Cowles Woodard, predeceased her in 1994.
A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held in Provincetown at a date to be announced, when it is possible to gather safely. Donations honoring Ruth may be made to the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod at asgcc.org or to your local animal rescue organization.