Frank H. Ruth

February 10, 1925 ‒ February 05, 2019

Mansfield, Ohio

Frank H. Ruth, 93, of Mansfield died February 5, 2019 in his home surrounded by his family.

Born February 10, 1925, in Scottdale, PA, he was raised in Chambersburg, PA where he graduated from Chambersburg High School. He was the son of the late Charles A. and Elizabeth (Wray) Ruth. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Caroline (Cox) Ruth whom he married in June 1951.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his son Jeffrey A. Ruth of Marion, and daughter Debra (James) Oberlander of Mansfield; three grandchildren James (Kara) Oberlander of Bowling Green, Bryan Ruth of Marion, and Sarah (Tad) Davis of Lexington; six great grandchildren Bryce, Annie, and Cole Oberlander, Claire, Alaina, and Jonathan Davis, all of whom he was very proud. He was preceded in death by his parents and his two sisters Vivian Raffensperger and Dolores Richards.

His WWII US Army service was with the Polar Bear Regiment of the 85th Infantry Division where he served in Italy in 1944-1945 as a combat medic litter bearer.  He was awarded the Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart as well as the Combat Medic Badge. Frank was deeply involved with his 339th Infantry Regiment reunions serving as reunion chairman for a number of years. He was an avid reader of World War II and Civil War history.

Frank was a long time advertising/promotion manager for 15 years with Westinghouse Appliance Division in Mansfield and Springfield, MA; promotion manager for MacGregor Sporting Goods (1965-1969) in Cincinnati; advertising/ public relations manager for Rupp Industries (1969-1974); advertising manager for Tappan Appliances (1974-1976) and advertising manager for Dover Corp/ OPW Division in Cincinnati. He retired from Dover/OPW in 1993, returning to Mansfield with his wife Caroline in 1993 to be near family.

One to be involved, he was active with Richland County Habitat for Humanity, serving on the Board and on the Church Relations/Public relations committee. He was active in S.C.O.R.E (Service Corp of Retired Executives) serving as a business counselor and editing the SCORE newsletter. He was an emeritus member of SCORE, and in 2008 received SCORE’s “Gold Award”, the highest award given to a SCORE member who had not served as an officer.

He was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church in Mansfield first joining in 1951, and most recently The Church of the Cross in Lexington. Frank was a member of the Mansfield Rotary Club serving on the Board, a 15 year volunteer at the Renaissance Theatre, and a member of the American Legion.

The Ruth family will receive friends on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. A funeral service honoring Frank’s life will be held in the United Methodist Church of the Cross, 236 Otterbein Dr, Lexington, Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 11 a.m. The Rev. Glenn Hamilton will officiate. Burial to follow in Mansfield Memorial Park.

Contributions in Frank’s memory to Richland Co. Habitat for Humanity or The Church of the Cross may be made at the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Frank’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at

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  • “Nobody said that life would be easy…they just said it would be worth it. We see it all around us in our perceptions. The soft iridescence, the brilliance in colors and forms, the intoxicating fragrances, the textures of diversity, the variations of sounds and voices, the taste of exquisiteness, the renewing experience nature offers and provides. There are the innovative, talented human elements life offers in our global family…and architecture which brings reassurance and evolution of ideas. —— You, FRANK, bring devotion, dedication, generosity, genuineness, altruism, and warm loving comfort to me and all who know you. You are remarkable and loved immensely.”

    You are now in a new dimension filled with family, friends, and your POLAR BEAR buddies…as well as peace and grace. I know that my Polar Bear Dad, “Smitty “ is welcoming you with open arms.
    I feel so blessed to have known you and to have met your family. You will always be in my thoughts and heart.

    Caroline and family….my memories will always be filled with appreciation and love of Frank and so blessed that he and Dad Smitty were such close, lifetime special friends. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with all of you. He was an incredible husband and father, grandfather and great-grandfather who cherished his family immensely.

    Love and Warmest Hugs,

    • Dear Cheryl, Thank you so much for your note. It was so special to have met you guys and I can just imagine Dad and Smitty reminiscing like old time. Love Deb

  • In the very early sixties I had the privilege of getting to know Frank Ruth by virtue of my friendship with his son Jeff. Frank Ruth set such a wonderful example of how to be a great father, a great career professional and exactly how to conduct yourself as a Gentleman. Iam a better person having known Frank Ruth. My heart hurts for Jeff, Debbie and Caroline. Your kindness shown to me will never be forgotten. Your family’s are truly in my thoughts and prayers. Frank will be long remembered, he is truly part of the Greatest Generation. Rest In Peace Frank…

  • It was my distinct privilege to talk to Frank about his military service in WW II and then tell his story to the public. Frank was the true embodiment of America’s Greatest Generation and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

    Tim Clark
    ‘A Veteran’s Story’

  • Donna and I have so many wonderful memories of Frank and his family from his Westinghouse days. We worked together, and were close neighbors. What a great guy, and wonderful family. We were fortunate to have been able stay close, though miles apart.
    Frank was everything his friends are saying in these condolence messages. He was truly one of the most respected and admired men I have ever met. Our love goes out to the Ruth family!
    Dick & Donna Crawford
    Topeka, Kansas

  • After hearing stories for many years from my father-in-law (“Smitty” Smith) about fellow “Polar Bear” Frank Ruth regarding their experiences in Italy in World War II, it was a privilege to get to know Frank and Caroline better in later years. Cheryl and I were particularly glad to meet Frank, Caroline, Deb and Jim during a visit to Mansfield in 2017 which included a chance to see some of the beautiful surrounding Ohio countryside. Frank was a man of sterling character reflecting the best of the Greatest Generation … always a pleasure to talk to and correspond with. His was a long life well-lived. Our sincere condolences to Caroline, Deb, Jim, and all of Frank’s extended family.

    Scott McLean
    Edmonds, WA

  • Truly a gentleman and one of my cherished friends from Rotary. Prayers for the family, peace for my friend Frank. I will always smile when speaking of him.

  • One of the finest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting was Frank Ruth, a gentleman through and through. I’m so thankful for the conversations we had at the Polar Bear Reunions, his humor and welcoming smile to everyone. He was a fine man and we’re so sorry to hear of his passing. Our sincere condolences to Caroline and the whole Ruth family.

    • Frank was an inspiration to me. He was my Dad, Smitty’s Polar Bear buddy and closest and dearest life long friend. Jim and I took Smitty to a couple of Polar Reunions where we learned so much from all of their war stories and heroism. I am extremely proud of not only of his Army accomplishments, but also the success and happiness in his long life. I feel so privileged to include him in our eztended family. He was like a brother to my Dad/Smitty so we started referring to him as “Uncle Frank”. He is one of the few people in my life that I am truly proud of and blessed to have been in my life. I am so glad to have known Frank and Caroline and family. He was a true gentleman, had a sense of humor, and was totally committed to his family and friends. I know that Smitty and the other POLAR BEARS are welcoming him with open arms and wanting him to organize another army reunion. Our prayers, support and love are extended to Caroline, Deb and Jim and Jeff and grandchildren.

  • From these messages, I can see that Frank had a wonderful family and an amazing life. I only got to meet Frank, by chance, while speaking at a Rotary meeting, on the history of manufacturing in North Central Ohio. But, before I spoke, he just happened to be the member who’s name was pulled out of the fishbowl that day, to explain his story. Which was an amazing trip through our manufacturing history. Westinghouse, Rupp Ind & Tappan…..
    I was blessed to meet Frank that day.

    And now, give my deepest sympathy to his entire Family.

  • I had the opportunity to meet Frank while accompanying my father-in-law, “Smitty”, and my wife, Carol, to a couple of Polar Bear reunions. Frank had a special knack for putting people at ease and organizing this unique group of individual personalities. Frank and his family became a part of our extended family over the past few years and we had an opportunity in 2017 to visit them in Mansfield, OH. Our sincere condolences to Caroline, Deb, Jim, Jeff, and the whole of the Ruth family.

    Jim Tanner
    Seattle, WA