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In Memoriam: Remembering Ruby Horwood

On August 2, L. Ruby Horwood, former Penn Foundation Board member and former assistant to Penn Foundation’s founding Medical Director, Dr. Norman Loux, passed away at the age of 100.

As Ruby described in the book of Penn Foundation’s early history A Model for the Country, she was a native of Canada, and met Dr. Loux in 1951 when she was setting up the medical library at Butler Hospital in Rhode Island. She also lived next door to Dr. Loux and his family and “spent quite a bit of time” with them. In 1955, Dr. Loux invited Ruby to move with him and his family to Souderton where she would be “invaluable as an administrator of a private psychiatric practice.” She enjoyed such a “friendly situation with Dr. Loux and felt such an enthusiasm for his dream,” that she accepted his offer.

Ruby helped Dr. Loux and the founding Board members launch The Penn Foundation for Mental Health. The next year, she left full-time employment to set up the medical library at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute but worked for Penn Foundation “part-time several evenings a week on different projects.” In 1966, she became the Demonstrations Project Officer, coordinating and giving tours of Penn Foundation, and joined the Board of Directors as Secretary.

After her service at Penn Foundation, Ruby stayed informed and interested in the agency’s work, largely through continued friendship and visits with Dr. Loux’s daughter, Elizabeth Kraybill. “I count my friendship with Ruby as one of the blessings in my life,” says Elizabeth. “She was so generous with her time. She had many interests – especially hiking – and she loved hearing about all that was happening at Penn Foundation. When Penn Foundation started, it was just she and my dad in the farmhouse – imagine if they could both see what their dream has grown into!”

In late August, President & CEO Wayne Mugrauer learned that Ruby’s dedication to Penn Foundation continued even after her death. As part of her estate plans, she had designated her legacy giving to Penn Foundation and another organization close to her heart. “From the earliest days, when Ruby worked with Dr. Loux and our founding Board to build this organization, Penn Foundation has been the beneficiary of incredible generosity for our caring community,” notes Wayne. “We are deeply grateful that Ruby chose to continue this tradition of giving. We will continue to remember her contributions and honor her memory.”