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Mrs. Ruth Pringle

Obituary for Mrs. Ruth Pringle

December 4, 1932 - May 8, 2020
East Windsor, and Cranford, New Jersey | Age 87


Eleanor Ruth McCracken Pringle, known to all as Ruth, died peacefully on Friday, May 8, 2020 in East Windsor, NJ of complications arising from Covid-19 and dementia. She was 87 years old. Ruth was a brilliant, scientifically-trained, self-sufficient woman who devoted herself to her family, her church, and to helping others.

Ruth was born on December 4, 1932 in Newark, NJ, the daughter of Henry and Eleanor (Fulton) McCracken. She was valedictorian of her class at Barringer High School, then graduated from Wilson College in 1954 with a major in physics and minor in music. She worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill after graduating from college, and married the love of her life, Malcolm "Mac" Pringle in 1955. They were married for 34 years until Mac's death in 1989.

Ruth and Mac settled in Cranford, NJ, where they raised four children. Over the years, they also opened their hearts and home to foster children, a Tibetan refugee, an AFS student, Fresh Air kids from New York City, Mac's elderly mother and aunt, and others who needed a place to stay for a night, or many months.

As a family, the Pringles traveled and camped throughout the country, including a six-week cross-country trip in 1972. They especially loved beaches on small lakes in the mountains of New England and trips with close friends to Lake George in the Adirondacks. These experiences shaped the careers of their children: two geologists, a wildlife biologist/cartographer, and an environmental advocate. To keep pace with their children, she and Mac even took geology courses at Union County College (Ruth always got the higher grades).

Ruth loved to play the piano and the organ, swing a tennis racket and win a hand of bridge. She was devoted to her faith and was a long-standing member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford. She taught Sunday School and adult Bible school and rose through the ranks as a lay volunteer to become deacon, elder and treasurer of the Church, ultimately serving as Moderator of the Synod of the Northeast. She also served on the boards of local social service organizations, including the Cranford College Women's Club, The Elizabethport Presbyterian Center, and Visiting Homemakers of Union County.

After Mac died, Ruth went back to work as Stated Clerk of the Elizabeth Presbytery. She took joy in spending time with her grandchildren, camping on her own, traveling in the American West, the Holy Land, and South Africa, and helping to run the Church's Homeless program.

In 2002, she moved to the Meadow Lakes retirement community in East Windsor, NJ where she continued an active life until moving to the memory care unit and finally skilled nursing. Though dementia shadowed the last ten years of her life, her happy spirit and strength of will always shone through.

Ruth is survived by her brother Robert F. McCracken of Niantic, CT; her children Malcolm S. Pringle, of San Francisco, CA, Laurel Ruth Pringle Goodell and her husband Steve of Lawrenceville, NJ, Carol Adair Pringle Baker of Ashaway, RI, David S. Pringle and wife Laurie of Cranford, NJ, and foster son Chris Newton; and eight grandchildren: David Pringle, Emily and Molly Goodell, Sarah and Hannah Baker, and Megan, Ryan and K.C. Pringle.

There will be a memorial service for Ruth and her husband Malcolm, 1 pm Saturday November 20, 2021 at the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford.. Arrangements are by Gray Memorial Funeral Home of Cranford, NJ ( where messages of condolence may be left for the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ruth's name can be made to the Meadow Lakes Employee Education Fund, payable to Meadow Lakes Forum, with a memo denoting the Education Award Fund, 82 Meadow Lakes, Hightstown, NJ 08520; or the Cranford Elmora Soup Kitchen c/o First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, 11 Springfield Ave., Cranford, NJ 07016.

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Gray Memorial Funeral Home

12 Springfield Ave.
Cranford, NJ 07016
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