NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Ruby (Cochrane) Benson Gould, died peacefully on Friday, March 2, at the age of 96.
Born January 5, 1922, in Nova Scotia, from age 2, Ruby grew up in West Boxford and North Andover, Mass., and graduated from Johnson High School. She was active in planning the many reunions for the class of 1939. She earned her associate degree from Northern Essex Community College. She met her husband John R. Benson during their high school years, and one of her first jobs was hulling strawberries at Benson's Homemade Ice Cream in West Boxford. She married John in 1944, and after he returned from WWII, they purchased the ice cream business and family homestead. A widow at 54, she continued to manage the family ice cream business, and in 1977 married Charles W. Gould of North Andover.
Ruby was an avid gardener, voracious reader, birdwatcher, loyal friend, loving wife and mother, and a devoted lifelong member of the Second Congregational Church of West Boxford. She often described herself as "a committee person," serving on multiple civic and church committees for over 50 years. She was active in the Second Church Ladies Charitable Society, Harvest Supper, Christmas Fair and taught Sunday School for many years. She was a member of PEO, the Boxford Historical Society, and a member of the board of the Brookside and Mount Vernon Cemetery Association.
Ruby worked in the Boxford library system for over 20 years, serving ten years as Library Director. She helped countless readers find a "really good" book or helped them research a vexing question long before the advent of Google. She once said that she "didn't necessarily know the answer to a question but usually knew where to look." A fierce advocate of the First Amendment, she felt that no book should be "banned" and as Head Librarian she purchased thousands of the books now included in the collection of the Boxford Town Library.
Ruby leaves her son David F. Benson and his wife Tricia of Boxford; daughter Carol Benson Antos and her husband David of Boston; son Alan J. Benson of West Boxford; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husbands John R. Benson and Charles W. Gould; her sister Barbara Cochrane Sewell; and her son John Robert Benson Jr.; as well as her daughter-in-law Sharon Benson; her grandson John M. Benson; and her parents Fred E. Cochrane and Muriel Kennedy Cochrane.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Second Congregational Church of Boxford, 173 Washington St., PO Box 508, West Boxford, MA 01885.
A memorial service and celebration of Ruby's life will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church of Boxford, UCC.
Published on March 10, 2018