Obituary: Ruth Reinhardt, longtime Wilton resident

Ruth Reinhardt
Ruth Reinhardt

CANANDAIGUA, NY — Ruth Alice Bohnet Reinhardt, longtime Wilton resident, died peacefully on the morning of Saturday, April 28th surrounded by family in her home in Canandaigua.

Born on November 19, 1932 in Astoria, Long Island to William and Anna Bohnet, Ruth was raised in Niagara Falls, NY.

After her 1950 graduation from LaSalle High School, Ruth was determined to enter nursing school. As she could not afford the tuition, she applied for and received a full scholarship from Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital in return for one year of employment upon graduation.

Ruth graduated from the University of Rochester’s school of nursing at Strong Memorial Hospital in 1953. There, she received the excellent training, rigorous clinical experience, and developed strong friendships that would enhance her entire life. She even earned a new nickname — “Frenchie” — based on her beautiful black hair and stunning blue eyes.

After completing her year of service to Niagara Falls Memorial, Ruth married Richard Papenfuss and raised three boys in Kentucky and Ohio before settling in Wilton, Connecticut. There, Ruth became a Red Cross nurse, teaching homecare and childcare. In addition, she worked as a teacher’s aide for children with special needs.

Most weekends, you would find Ruth in the stands loudly cheering on her sons’ accomplishments in lacrosse, football, basketball, and in the Wilton band. Fans who attended those games will surely remember her cranking up the antique, manual firehouse siren to stir up the crowd!

In 1982, Ruth returned to full-time nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stamford, CT. Ruth fondly said these were the best years of her career. Starting in the medical/surgical floor, she became further certified in Rehabilitation in 1983. She was responsible for setting up programs for new staff and teaching orientees. At her retirement in 1993, Ruth was the Clinical Coordinator for the nursing unit.

In 1992, Ruth married Charles Reinhardt. After retirement, they moved to Cape Cod, MA. Ruth and Charlie were actively involved with their church, volunteered with numerous charities, and played many rounds of golf. They moved to the Heatherwood Community ten years ago. They were active members in Bible studies and other activities. Ruth also sang in the chorus, played in the Follies, and acted in several plays.

Ruth was predeceased by her husband, Charlie, her sister, Charlene Hoyle, and her stepdaughter, Jo Woodard. She is survived by her beloved sons Rick (Karla) Papenfuss, David (Kim) Papenfuss, and Bob (Kelly) Papenfuss; grandchildren Lindsay (Dan) Carey, Rebekah Papenfuss, Erika Papenfuss, and Matthew Papenfuss; her brother and sisters, Bill (Pat) Bohnet, Mary Beth Baker, and Susan (Doug) Allen; her stepchildren Susan (Mark) Groesbeck, Howard Woodard, and Trish (David) Floyd; and stepgrandchildren, nieces and nephews, the girls from nursing school and numerous friends.

A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held later this summer in Canandaigua. Memorial contributions may be made to Ontario-Yates Hospice and Palliative Care ( or VNA of Cape Cod Hospice and Palliative Care (