Folsom Funeral Service

Martowska, Ruth “Chickie”

Ruth “Chickie” (Anderson) Martowska, age 90, of Norwood, beloved wife of the late Zigmund A. Martowska, died peacefully at home on October 21, 2020 surrounded by her devoted daughters and loving family. She was born in Norwood on May 8, 1930, the cherished daughter of the late Ruth (Bailey) Rhode and John Anderson. She was a life-long Norwood resident. Her life revolved around her family, friends, church, teaching career, love of music, and of course, her passion for sports and athletics. As a child, Chickie was not the typical girly girl. She preferred playing ball with the neighborhood boys over dressing up and playing with dolls. Her true passion quickly became evident – sports and athletics. She played softball, basketball, field hockey, and tennis throughout her school years. She was also an excellent swimmer and golfer. As an adult, she proved a fierce competitor as a semi-pro bowler, appearing on the Candlepin Bowling TV show twice. She even began square dancing when she was in her fifties. Sports and athletics were her life. She also grew up with a love for music, both singing and playing. She began studying the violin at age 10 and took up the mandolin in high school. Her love affair with music remained throughout her life. Chickie was a proud graduate of Norwood High School, Class of 1948. She excelled in athletics during high school, lettering in three sports – women’s basketball, softball, and field hockey. She was thrilled to be inducted into the Norwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 for her tremendous athletic accomplishments during high school. She became the first person in her family to graduate from college, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1952 from Bridgewater State College. She taught Physical Education, as well as Social Studies and Mathematics, to high school and junior high school students in Hanover and Abington. She also coached the girls’ sport teams. She met the love of her life, Ziggie, when her own mother introduced her to “this nice, young man from South Norwood” with whom she worked at a local restaurant. They married on June 25, 1955 and started a family in January 1958. Since her family was her top priority, Chickie decided to leave full-time teaching for a career with more flexible hours. She turned to coaching and officiating, both of which allowed her to schedule her work around raising her children. She coached girls’ basketball, field hockey, and softball teams at several South Shore high schools. She held ratings in field hockey, basketball, and softball, and officiated in numerous college and high school tournaments. She continued officiating at the high school level until she was over 70 years old. Even though her family was paramount in her life, Chickie always found time to volunteer whenever and wherever she was needed. When her children were young, she volunteered as a Camp Fire Girls leader for her daughters, even leading two different groups at the same time for 5 years. She also served on the Camp Fire Girls executive board for many years. Volunteering to coach her youngest daughter Judy on the Co-Eds girls softball team of Norwood Little League turned into a decades long commitment. After her daughter aged out of Little League Softball, she continued to coach the Co-Eds with her daughter for a total of 25 years, selflessly giving of her time and sharing her knowledge and expertise of the game with the next generation of players. Chickie was often recognized for her efforts in promoting athletic opportunities for girls to compete. These included improvement in the facilities for the girls’ athletic programs and for additional opportunities for girls to compete in out-of-school programs. To recognize these contributions, she received the Outstanding Service to International Amateur Softball award in 1979 and the Joseph W. Wall Memorial Award for her dedication and service to Norwood Little League in 1993. She was also inducted into the New Agenda Northeast Hall of Fame for Girls and Women in Sports in 1994. A lifelong member of First Congregational Church in Norwood, Chickie rarely missed a Sunday service from the day she was baptized until the day she died. Her love of music found a new home in the church choir, where her deep alto voice added strength and harmony to the hymn singing for over 20 years. She also loved to participate in the bell choir of the church and was a long-time member of the Friendly Service group at the church. Her community service went beyond church, sports, and athletics. She was an active member of Norwood Women’s Community Committee (WCC) for 25 years. She put in countless hours at WCC Thrift Shop, which she affectionately called “The Unique Boutique”. She also organized and conducted the annual babysitting course sponsored by WCC. Chickie had many friends throughout town and around the state. She was adored by all who knew her. She loved to grab a quick bite at Brookside with her friends from church or knitting. She also shared a strong bond with her fellow Physical Education college classmates, meeting regularly with the group for lunch or dinner. Chickie especially enjoyed spending summers with her husband, mother, children, and their families at her cottage on Wallum Lake Terrace, where she was a member for the past 62 years. She loved walking to the beach and spending a relaxing day in “her spot” near the big rock. An avid sports fan, only the Red Sox could keep her away from the beach on a hot, humid day. If the Red Sox were playing, everyone knew not to expect her at the beach until the game was over! No mother was more devoted to her family. She delighted in her nine grandchildren, showering them with love and affection. She relished her role as Nana and Grand-Nan and would always revert back to her teaching roots when children were around. She taught her daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren how to swim, using charts and star stickers to applaud their successes. As a “young” 75 year old, she even gave her grandsons and granddaughters a lesson on how to correctly throw a football! Life with Nana was always filled with fun! She never could resist the temptation to initiate a fierce all-out squirt gun battle with the family! Chickie was a petite ball of fire with an enormous heart. She will always be remembered for her fun-loving, enthusiastic, energetic, generous, compassionate spirit. She is survived by her three daughters, Ruth Parker and her husband Andy of Prospect CT, Jean Forget and her husband Rick of Douglas, and Rev. Judy Martowska of Norwood. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Andrew Parker Jr. of Norwood, Michael Parker and his wife Tania of Shelton CT, David Parker of Vernon CT, Sarah Parker of Arlington VA, Bailey Jeffers of Douglas, Richard Forget of Douglas, Luke Jeffers and his wife Kristen of LaGrange OH, and Jacob Jeffers of Elyria OH. She was also adored by her 5 great-grandchildren, Luke, Nathan, Ada, Kova, and Jessie. In addition to her husband and her parents, she was predeceased by her brother Donald E. Devine of Norwood and her grandson Jesse W. Jeffers of Douglas. Relatives and friends may visit with the family from 4-8 PM on Friday, October 30 at the Folsom & May Funeral Home, 85 Nichols Street, Norwood MA. An outside funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 31 at 12 noon in front of the First Congregational Church, 100 Winter Street, Norwood MA. Interment to follow in Highland Cemetery, Norwood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Congregational Church in Norwood. Due to COVID restrictions, everyone is kindly requested to wear a face mask at the funeral home and at the church.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Trish Monahan
    October 27th, 2020 | 8:18 pm

    Judy and family, I’m so very sorry to see this news. Chickie was one of a kind! She saved my life one night years ago. We were in the bleachers, at the old civic center, watching a baseball game, when a line drive was hit our way. I didn’t see it but she did, she grabbed me by the head and put my head down, preventing me from being hit! Imagine my surprise when, all the years later, I ended up volunteering with her at the WCC. I always enjoyed her company, respected her so much, loved working with her, she made me laugh so hard, and I just thought the world of her. I’m so sorry for your loss, please let me know if I can help any of you.

  2. Kathy
    October 29th, 2020 | 8:06 am

    So sorry to hear of Chickies passing. She contributed so much of her time to the youth in Norwood, especially softball. She made every little girl feel like a champion. Great coach, mentor and friend. RIP Chickie

  3. David and Donna Martowska
    October 30th, 2020 | 10:40 am

    Jeanie, Judy, and Ruthie ,
    We would like to express our sincere sympathies for the loss of your mom. I wish we could do it in person, but do to the wintery weather conditions here in Foster we will be unable to.

  4. Sunny and Jack O'Malley
    October 30th, 2020 | 12:04 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Chickie was one of those people that it was a privilege to know. What a treasure she was! Her optimism, energy and exuberance will be sorely missed. So sad that Jack and I are unable to attend. RIP, dear friend!

  5. Ann Kelliher malkey
    October 30th, 2020 | 7:51 pm

    God bless Mrs Martowska and her family. She was such a nice person. So full of life. Rest her beautiful soul.

  6. Deborah kwiatkowski
    October 30th, 2020 | 8:06 pm

    My deepest condolence to Ruth’s beloved family. She will be missed. Always an Angel watching over her family.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service