Ruby Jackson (21432) obituary, from The Wellesley Townsman of April 7 to April 14, 2012


"Dr. Ruby G. Jackson, a pioneering physician in medicine in Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 28th. The second of David and Ida Anglin Jacksons four daughters, Ruby was born in Three Rivers, MA, a small town outside of Palmer, on March 9, 1916, four years after her parents emigrated from Ireland. She was predeceased by her older sister, Bertha J. Fisher, and her younger sister, Vida, and is survived by her sister Olive J. Dobles of Bedford, NH. She was the Valedictorian of her graduating class from Monson High School in 1933 and in a portent of her future she was listed in the class superlatives as The Most Helpful. She went on to major in Zoology at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, where she graduated with honors and established a scholarship fund for women studying science. From there she entered McGill University School of Medicine in Toronto [sic], where she was one of two women accepted from the United States in a class of over 1100 applicants. She funded her own education by working for Dr. Ralph B. Ober, the Chief of Surgery at Springfield Hospital, and doing research at A.D. Little during WW II on optimal ways to protect submarine sailors from the effects of fires aboard ship. Upon graduation from McGill she interned at Albany Hospital in surgery, but after being advised that this was not a field for women doctors planning to practice in New England, she entered a new program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Free Hospital for Women and Boston Lying-In Hospital that also enabled her to perform gynecological surgery. Today, after merging with Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, the three hospitals are known as Brigham and Womens Hospital, one of the worlds finest. In her last year of residency, she became the first female House Officer and Chief Resident Surgeon in the history of the institution and the first female to complete her medical training there. Upon her retirement in 1985, she made a generous gift to the hospital, and asked that upon her death the balance of the fund be applied to research and patient care in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. An article on the front page of the Boston Herald on December 7, 1957 described a ground-breaking program at MIT that Dr. Jackson initiated to provide pre-natal, delivery and post-natal care for the wives of students and graduate students. The article called it an unprecedented step among American institutions of higher learning. She was the first obstetrician to be added to the MIT staff. While starting her private practice in Boston in 1954, she also served on the staff of Harvard Medical School as a physician and instructor for over 25 years, and was on the Medical Staffs of Simmons College, Brandeis and John Hancock Life Insurance Co. She later moved her practice to Weston until she retired in 1985. During her over 50-year career she cared for women from all walks of life and from all over the world. Upon retirement, she travelled extensively and particularly enjoyed the splendors of our natural world. She once remarked, How can anyone feel alone in the company of singing birds? Yet alone she must have sometimes felt, because in a letter to the editor published in the Boston Globe in the early 1980s commenting on the changing attitude of society regarding medicine, she remarked, A physicians life is a lonely one, faced with hard, life-related decisions, although he may have the comfortable appearance of worldly success. He keeps his problems concealed, so he can serve better. There is a joy and satisfaction in sacrifice, hard work and in individual responsibility... She was a member of several medical societies, published numerous articles in medical journals and was a very generous supporter of humanitarian causes all over the world. Yet above all, she will be cherished as a loving, caring friend, who never talked of herself or her accomplishments, but simply worked quietly to make this world a better place for us all and, in the process, opened doors everywhere for women in medicine. A long-time resident of Wellesley and member of the Trinitarian Church in Wayland, she moved to Concord in 2004. A memorial gathering will be held at a future date and she will be interred in the Jackson Family plot in Hillside Cemetery in Monson. Contributions in her honor may be made to Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA; McGill University School of Medicine, Toronto, Canada; or the Trinitarian Church in Wayland, MA. Arrangements are being made by Duckett Funeral Home, Sudbury, MA."




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