Ruth M. Landis, 95, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 13, 2014 at Brethren Village, Lancaster, where she had lived since 2001. Born in Hershey on February 26, 1919, she was the daughter of James W. and Virgie (Henry) MacGee. Mrs. Landis was a graduate of Hershey High School and the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing. Becoming a nurse had been a childhood dream and she was a nurse at heart for the rest of her life. One of her fondest memories was winning a prize named for Florence Nightingale during nursing training.
It was while working at Lancaster General Hospital shortly after her graduation that she met Floyd M. Landis, a young doctor on the staff. They married in the summer of 1941. Shortly thereafter Dr. Landis entered the army. Dr. Landis was stationed in army posts stateside until his deployment to Europe in 1944, where his MASH unit followed the Allied lines from France into Germany. During that time, Mrs. Landis and her toddler daughter, Carol, lived with her mother, Virgie MacGee, in Hershey, where second daughter Barbara was born. Mrs. Landis and her mother prayed for the safe return of both of their husbands, and all three of Mrs. Landis' brothers, all of whom were serving in Europe or the Pacific. Their prayers were answered; all five men returned—a blessing always remembered by the family.
When her husband returned from the war, they moved to Leola, where Dr. Landis had grown up and started what would come to be a 40 year long family practice. In the beginning, she served as his only office nurse, along with being the mother of two daughters and later, two sons, James and Robert. Even after the office expanded, Mrs. Landis continued to be involved in the practice. In the early years, Dr. and Mrs. Landis worked together to deliver many Amish babies on surrounding farms. In several years, Ruth’s friend for life, Hazel Blanshine became office nurse as Ruth turned more to her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, and caring daughter and daughter in law. She was a faithful sister to her three brothers, Fred, Wendell, and Bud, of whom Fred remains, having visited her just days before she passed away.
Mrs. Landis and her family were members of the Lancaster Church of the Brethren. Their long time pastor and friend, Reverend John Long, his wife Inez, Calvin Wenger, and the entire Lancaster Church of the Brethren fellowship were always a source of strength and joy. Mrs. Landis was also active for years in the Lancaster General Hospital Auxiliary Association. Both Dr. and Mrs. Landis were dedicated to Lancaster County history and preservation and Mrs. Landis was especially instrumental in placing Dr. Landis' family farm in the Lancaster County Farmland Trust. It is still farmed by the Amish family who purchased it in the 1980's.
Mrs. Landis had many talents and interests, including growing roses, making clothing for her children and other needle arts, playing the piano, cooking, traveling with her husband, and reading, especially books about religion and archeology.
She is survived by her brother, Fred MacGee of Harrisburg, her four children, Carol, of Morristown, NJ; Barbara, of York, ME, James, of Lancaster, and Robert, of Phoenix, AZ., 5 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren with another on the way.
Her family and friends were truly blessed by her example of dedicated and loving service to all who needed her. Truly, her legacy will be cherished by every person touched by her kindness and compassion.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 21 at 11 AM at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren 1601 Sunset Ave. Lancaster PA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Brethren Village in Lancaster or the Lancaster Church of the Brethren.