Ruth O. Schaffner


Ruth O. Schaffner, 96, of Oak Bluffs, passed away quietly at home on April 30, 2021, with her family by her side.

She was born to William Hugh Bonner and Nellie P. Bye on Nov. 7, 1924, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Ruth graduated high school in Sault Ste. Marie in 1942, and soon after met Bill Schaffner, a Coast Guardsman stationed in the area.

She married the late William (“Bill”) Schaffner Jr. on Dec. 30, 1943. After World War II they moved to Mount Vernon, N.Y. In 1987 they moved to Martha’s Vineyard to be closer to their grandchildren.

Ruth possessed boundless energy, and was a member of the YMCA. She nurtured her giving spirit by volunteering at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Windemere for more than 30 years, ringing the bell at Christmas for the Salvation Army, and at the West Tisbury Congregational Church, making wreaths and working at their festivals. She was an avid quilter and gardener.

She is survived by her three sons, Bruce Schaffner and his wife Sue Angeley of West Tisbury, Dan Schaffner of Oak Bluffs, and Tom Schaffner and his wife Jean Ann of Pocasset; grandchildren Brynn Schaffner of West Tisbury, Devin Schaffner and his partner Kristina Alabado of Saco, Maine, and Jesse Angeley and his wife Elizabeth of Burlington; and great-grandchildren Charlotte, Logan, and Liliana.

Her ashes will be laid to rest next to her husband Bill in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard ( and the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard ( would be appreciated. For online tributes and more information, please visit


  1. So sorry to hear this! Ruth was a dear, dear, generous and loving person with such incredible energy. Deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  2. What an outstanding lady! I had the pleasure of having Ruth in my classes at the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard when I worked there. There was nothing she wouldn’t try, there was never not a smile on her face, and she inspired many. She was tougher than anyone I ever trained – ANYONE!

    Was blessed to know her

  3. Ruth was blessed with a resting face that always had a smile… and that smile had a matching voice! Ruth always greeted me interested in knowing what I had been doing since seeing her last, and left our conversation glad to have seen her! Bill was the same way, especially after his daily shell fishing! Glad I knew them both!
    Fred Thornbrugh

  4. Ruth I will miss
    You you were so.

    Nice to everybody
    God bless you and rest in
    Martha Keenan

  5. I met Ruth at the Y! She was so warm and welcoming to me. Her spirit and stamina was beyond inspiring! Just the sweetest and kindest soul. My thoughts go out to her family.

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