Elsie Ruth Cassidy R.N.
From this time forward I am free
To be at one with God and thee.
(Lindsay King, Mount Allison ’51)
Elsie Ruth Miller Boyd Cassidy (R.N.) lived a long, blessed life and passed away peacefully at age 103 on April 15, 2019, at Orchard View Long Term Care, Gagetown, NB.
She was born on April 12, 1916, in the village of Elmsdale, NS, the only daughter of Blanche (Thompson) and James Miller after four sons: Ralph, Archibald, Leigh, and Robert. Her father owned and operated a brick yard, a lumber mill, and a general store.
Elsie Ruth attended a two-room school in Elmsdale through 10th grade, and then commuted by train to the Halifax Academy from which she graduated high school. She then studied at Mount Allison University for two years; however, she broke off her internship in dietetics to return home and help her mother nurse her father through his final months with cancer. This difficult experience and the outbreak of the Second World War caused her to change her intended career to nursing. In 1943 she graduated from the Registered Nurse program at the Newton-Wellesley (Massachusetts) hospital before joining the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and serving as a Second and then First Lieutenant until 1946.
On February 22, 1947, she married Colonel James Alexander Boyd in Wellesley, MA — after a romance which began as a nurse-patient relationship — and gained two stepsons: Richard and James. Jim retired from the U.S. Army Air Corps and became a high school history teacher. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1957. Elsie Ruth and Jim had two children: Daniel and Elizabeth (Betty).
On August 14, 1958, Elsie Ruth married Stanley Bernard Cassidy (O.C.) — whom she had met years previously during her time at Mount Allison — and gained an additional three stepsons: Bruce, Peter, and Brian. Elsie Ruth and Stan lived in Fredericton where Stan owned an electrical contracting business until his sudden death from a work-related accident in 1993. Elsie Ruth was an active partner to Stan in his long-term charitable work provincially and nationally with the Shriners and in his establishment and development of a rehabilitation centre in Fredericton.
Elsie Ruth is survived by her children Daniel Boyd, Elizabeth Slifer, Bruce Cassidy, Peter Cassidy, Brian Cassidy, and by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
No one has ever been able to bake a better ginger snap.
A memorial service and reception will be held at J.A. McAdam Memorial Chapel, 160 York Street, Fredericton, on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 11am. Memorial donations will be welcomed by the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation, 800 Priestman St., Fredericton, NB, E3B 0C7.