Obituary: Ruth Cilley Worden, 1917-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Ruth Cilley Worden, 1917-2021

Colchester woman retired at age 76 as ranger of Mount Ascutney State Park

Published June 8, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated June 8, 2021 at 4:28 p.m.


On June 4, 2021, Ruth Cilley Worden passed away at the age of 103.

She was the youngest daughter of Charles and Carrie (Chase) Caswell of Colchester, Vt. She was born at the Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington, Vt., on December 12, 1917, and attended school in Colchester and graduated from Burlington High School.

She married Clayton Cilley of Colchester on September 16, 1940. To this union, two sons were born: Hollis and Carleton Cilley. Both boys were victims of muscular dystrophy and passed away at the ages of 21 and 13. Clayton passed away in 1970.

Ruth was also predeceased by her second husband, Elmer Worden, and two sisters, Ila Brown of Florida and Fredith Sanderson of Williston, Vt., as well as several nieces and nephews.

She is survived by a niece, Ardella Fughes, of Florida and several great-nieces and -nephews, great-great-nieces and -nephews, and many special friends from the United States and Canada.

She was a member of the Baptist Church of Colchester and was involved with the Methodist Church of Winooski. She was a longtime member of the Grange, past state president of the Spanish-American War Veterans Auxiliary, and a member of the Green Mountain Folklore Society and the Colchester Historical Society.

For 30 years, she worked for the State of Vermont Department of Forests and Parks, in park operations in central and southeastern Vermont, retiring at the age of 76 as the park ranger at Mount Ascutney State Park in Windsor, where she had worked for eight years. She truly missed “my mountains,” “my hang-gliding friends” and the car racers. After moving to Country Park Apartments in South Burlington and believing life to be a learning experience, she was ready for a new challenge and worked as an assistant at Chamberlain School and the Shelburne town offices, where she was also a tourism hostess.

Proud to be a native Vermonter, she spent much time tracing her family genealogy back to the Mayflower and leaving a legacy of stories and facts about her ancestors. She also wrote her memoirs of 30 years in state park service.

“I would like to thank my great-nephew and niece Roger and Debbie Curts and great-great-nieces and nephew Abbie and Ethan and Emily Curtis for all your love, caring and concern for me for many years. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

Ruth wrote her own obituary. She truly was an inspiration to all of us.

We would like to thank all who cared for her at Green Mountain Nursing Home. She made special friends and would talk to everyone. We hope Aunt Ruth and her friend Rosemary are once again happy to be reunited.

The funeral will be held on June 14, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Colchester Cemetery in Colchester, Vt. Viewing at 10 a.m. before the funeral at Corbin and Palmer in Essex Junction, Vt.

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