Ruth L. Hood Horlick, S.O.M.
Born September 25, 1919 in Toronto and raised in Gananoque, Ontario, died February 21, 2015, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Ruth was the eldest child of Garfield G. Hood and Caroline M. Hood, and elder sister to George M. Hood and John E. Hood, all of whom predeceased her. Ruth’s husband, Louis Horlick, O.C., S.O.M. died in Saskatoon on October 23, 2012. Ruth is survived by her four sons, their wives and children: Jonathan and his wife Kathi; Andrew and his wife Anne and their children, Sarah, Sam, Simon and Jay; Allan and his former wife Anna, and their children, Leah and Nicholas; and Simon and his wife Margo, and their children, Zoe and Abby.
Ruth grew up in the heart of the Canadian Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River and the experiences and friendships acquired there shaped her life. Ruth earned a BA in French, English and Politics from Queen’s University in 1941. Known as “Steamer Hood” for her strong skating skills honed on the frozen St. Lawrence, Ruth was a defensive stalwart on the 1939 Queen’s women’s hockey team, wrote for the Queen’s Journal campus newspaper, was President of the Levana Society and received the Queen’s Tricolour Award for her involvement in university activities. After graduation from Queen’s, Ruth worked in Ottawa for the Bank of Canada and then entered the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing in 1944 graduating with her R.N. in 1947. Pursuing her interest in psychiatric nursing, Ruth worked at the Colorado Psychopathic Institute from 1947-49 and at Chestnut Lodge near Washington D.C. from 1949-52.
Ruth married Dr. Louis Horlick in 1952 in Montreal, Quebec. Their upbringing and family circumstances could not have been more different, yet they enjoyed 60 years of happy marriage. In 1954, Ruth and Louis left Montreal for Saskatoon, where Louis joined the new Medical College at the University of Saskatchewan. Except for sabbatical years spent with Louis and the boys at the National Institute of Health in Washington D.C. in 1962 and Stanford University in 1976, and medical volunteer stints with Louis in Kabul, Afghanistan, Chiang Mai, Thailand and Taiwan, Ruth resided in Saskatoon.
Ruth viewed each summer’s five day journey in the station wagon from Saskatoon to the Hood family cottage in Gananoque as an opportunity to teach her family about Canadian history, insisting on a stop at every historical marker on the south side of the highway going east and on the north side of the highway on the 5 day return trip going west. Camping along the way, at least once at every campsite from Saskatoon to Kingston, Ontario, she taught the boys and Louis to “have a sense of adventure”.
Ruth was a committed community volunteer. In 1957, she became the first President of the Saskatoon Symphony Volunteers, created to raise funds and other support for the Saskatoon Symphony. Throughout her life in Saskatoon, Ruth supported the art, drama and music communities in Saskatoon. In the early 1960s Ruth was instrumental in the establishment of the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. Ruth pursued her interest in assisting individuals with psychiatric problems by volunteering as a tutor at the Regional Psychiatric Centre, as a board member of the Crocus Co-op (a support group for former psychiatric patients), and as a board member of the Saskatoon Housing Coalition for psychiatric patients. From 1978-85, Ruth worked with patients being treated for psychiatric illness at the McKerracher psychiatric day-care centre. She led a daily group session for patients with thought disorders, with the aim of increasing each patient’s self- confidence. Ruth also served as a board member of the Meewasin Foundation.
Always modest about her contributions in aid of others, Ruth was recognized for her many volunteer efforts: 1988 Canada Volunteer Award; 1989 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award; 1990 Correctional Service of Canada Volunteer Award; 1992 Canada Confederation Medal; and in 2000, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
A Celebration of Ruth’s Life will be held at the Saskatoon Funeral Home on Saturday February 28, 2015 at 3 P.M., followed by a reception at the Edwards Family Centre.
In remembrance of Ruth, a donation to Crocus Co-op, a non-profit organization working on behalf of people with mental health disorders, 135 Ave. B, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 1M2, www.crocuscooperative.org, is gratefully acknowledged by the boys. Condolences may be sent to email@example.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home 306-244-5577