Timeline of Dr. Ruth B. Loving's Life

portrait of Ruth Loving

  • May 27, 1914
  • Ruth Loving is born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She is the youngest of seven children.
  • about 1918
  • Family moves to New Haven, Connecticut, to work in the Winchester gun factory making guns for the U.S. Army during WWI.
  • about 1926
  • Ruth joins a fife and drum corps, at the Gregory Street School when she is in sixth grade. She plays the fife, and she is the only girl in her school to do so. Around this time she learns to play the organ and joins a youth choir.
  • 1932
  • During the summer Ruth auditions to be a Cotton Club dancer in New York City. Because of the revealing costume, she dances only one performance.
  • 1935 to 1939
  • Ruth marries Minor Loving in 1935 and, soon after, the couple moves to Boston. He is working for a dry cleaning business that owns facilities throughout the region. In 1939, Minor is transferred to a dry cleaning business in Springfield. Ruth becomes member of the Springfield branch of the NAACP. She also obtains an entertainment license, for performing music and dance.
  • 1940s
  • World War II begins in December of 1941. Ruth becomes a volunteer entertainer for the USO, and she performs for troops at Westover Field in nearby Chicopee, Massachusetts, which was established as an Army Air Corps airfield in 1939. In 1943 she joins the Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps, the first Massachusetts National Guard unit for women. She originally works in the canteen at Westover Field. She is soon promoted to typing and administrative office work, and eventually to military communications. She learns Morse Code for her communications work and works in a secret downtown facility in Springfield that served as the region's military communications hub. Her first son, Minor Loving Jr., is born in 1945. Ruth and her husband have two more children, Anthony Floyd Loving and Holly Ruth Loving.
  • Early 1950s
  • During the war in Korea, Ruth is again involved on the home front, along with her three children. Ruth Loving with the Loving Trio perform music, song and dance routines at USO shows. Their venues included Westover Air Force Base, the new name given Westover Field when, in 1947, the Air Force became a military service separate from the Army. The Loving family also plays at USO shows around the region, as well as performs religious music at church events.
  • Mid-1950s
  • When Minor Jr., goes to Chester Street Junior High in Springfield, Ruth is shocked to learn that there is no Parent Teacher Association at the school. She goes to the city council to ask if they have the right to organize a PTA. As a result of her petition, the PTA is established. Ruth is elected its first president.
  • 1968
  • Martin Luther King Jr., is shot. Ruth, an accomplished musician and singer, works with local churches to organize a citywide choir to sing at a Martin Luther King memorial tribute. The "Pastors' Council Choir" attracts more than 200 members and sings the memorial celebration of Martin Luther King's life, held in Springfield Symphony Hall. The group, now called "The Freedom Choir" is still active. As of summer 2009, Ruth still is singing with the group, and she is choir secretary.
  • 1987
  • Ruth achieves her dream of a college education and graduates from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a B.A. degree, with a concentration in Community Education and Media.
  • 1995
  • Ruth becomes a delegate to the White House Council on aging under President Clinton.
  • 1996
  • Ruth begins working in radio as an announcer.
  • 2004
  • In recognition of her legacy of contributions to her community and her achievements, Ruth is awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree by the Springfield Theological Society.


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