Ruth Burns Davin


Ruth Burns Davin of East Chop died on Thursday, January 16, at Massachusetts General Hospital with family by her side. She was 81.

Ruth was born on October 15, 1932, the daughter of Florence and Edward Burns. She grew up in Belmont with her brothers Gerry and Paul. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1954, she joined the U.S. Navy and became a Lieutenant JG. Ruth met her husband. Michael. in Newport, Rhode Island. when both were stationed at the naval base there.

Ruth and Michael married in 1956 and moved to New York and then New Jersey, before settling in Devon, Pennsylvania, where they raised their three children. Ruth was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution, and she was a longtime volunteer for the Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift Shop. She was editor of “Devon Country Fare,” a cookbook published in 1983 to celebrate the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and subsequently benefit Bryn Mawr Hospital. A strict testing process for every submission resulted in excellent recipes. Its first printing of 10,000 copies sold out quickly, requiring an additional printing, and the well-loved book is still in use in thousands of kitchens today.

When her sons were in high school in the 1970s, Ruth saw an opportunity to become an entrepreneur, after discovering that the only vendor in town who sold team jackets had limited supply and poor customer service. Ruth fearlessly opened her own business, Jacket Associates, selling team jackets and other sports apparel to local athletes.

Ruth sold her company after years of success and then began a career in real estate. She was the relocation specialist for her firm in Pennsylvania, selling homes to executives moving to the area. Meanwhile, the Davins spent every July in their summer house on Martha’s Vineyard. When Ruth and her husband moved to the Vineyard full-time in 1994, she joined Hughes and Sollitto Real Estate in Vineyard Haven, where she worked until her retirement.

As the granddaughter of a baker, Ruth was a wonderful cook. In addition to teaching her kids how to cook, she also taught cooking classes to adults in the 1980s. She was a generous hostess who loved to entertain in her home. She and Michael also traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad. Ruth was a good friend to many and will be missed by her friends, neighbors, and loving family.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son Thomas Davin and his wife, Molly, of Newport Beach, Calif., her son James Davin of Oak Bluffs and his girlfriend, Kirsten Congdon of North Attleboro, and Katie Davin and her spouse, Sandra Davin, of Warwick, R.I. She is also survived by her five grandchildren, Meredith, Jack, Caroline, Daniel, and Alexis.

Visiting hours in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs will be held on Tuesday, January 21, from 5 to 7 pm. Her funeral mass will be celebrated in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Massasoit Ave., Oak Bluffs on Wednesday, January. 22, at 11 am. Her burial will be held on Thursday, January 23, at 11:15 am in the Massachusetts National Cemetery located in Bourne.

Donations may be made in her memory to the Vineyard Nursing Association, 455 State Road, PMB 312, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.