Ruth ‘Grandma Geddy’ Henretty, 92, worked at Colonial Williamsburg for 30 years

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Ruth Henretty
Ruth Henretty

Ruth Henretty, better known to many as ‘Grandma Geddy’ in Colonial Williamsburg, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 7, 2016. She was 92.

Mrs. Henretty worked in many roles for more than 30 years at Colonial Williamsburg: building greeter, interpreter and colonial dancer, but she was most well known as Grandma Geddy at the James Geddy House. She loved getting into her character role and bringing Grandma Geddy alive for many who would encounter her at Colonial Williamsburg.

She was a friend to everyone; a stranger to none. Everyone who visited Colonial Williamsburg and met her was made to feel very welcomed and always felt as if they’d stepped back in time, walking away with more of an understanding of the era than they had ever imagined.

Mrs Henretty would go out of her way to help anyone in need, anywhere, anytime. She loved much, and was much-loved by so many. She lived her life for her family; she was a devoted wife for 55 years to her husband, who passed away in 2004, and a dedicated and loving mom to her three children. Even though she suffered from advanced dementia during the last years of her life, she never forgot working at Colonial Williamsburg, and she would often talk of her days there.

She is survived by her brother, Edgar Vermillion of Harwood, Md.; three children and their spouses, Patty (Frank) Derby of Powhatan, Rick (Kim) Henretty of Mechanicsville and Tim (Kimberly) Henretty of Williamsburg; and nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Fred Henretty.

Mrs. Henretty was a veteran of World War II and was buried in a private ceremony at the Virginia Military Cemetery in Amelia next to her husband.

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