They feel they would not have what they have—happy lives, doing what they like without the education they received at Case Western Reserve University. Now, because of Richard and Ruth Ginter's generosity, others will have the same opportunity.
Influenced by childhood polio and encouraged by the several doctors in his small town, Richard knew by age 16 that he wanted to be a doctor. Ruth's mother and aunt were both registered nurses, but family finances made it unlikely that she would continue the family tradition. The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps made the difference.
Richard Ginter and Ruth Tribby met on a blind date and married during his second year of medical school at Western Reserve University (Class of '49) and her second year at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing (Class of '48). Their life together has been a continuing adventure. When he began practice as a family physician near Sacramento, California, the need for his services was so great that he couldn't get away to help Ruth pack up the baby and move. Their family grew to five children over the next eight years and the town's growth kept pace. One day he delivered six babies. Some nights he startled himself awake, mistakenly thinking he was being called to help someone in labor.
Life was satisfying, but the work exhausted him. One summer they piled the children into an Airstream and spent months traveling while they readied for a challenging radiology residency. That training took the Ginters back to the Midwest, but the beauty of the Sacramento Valley lured them back to California, and there they've stayed.
Family life was enhanced with big hobbies. Ruth sang in the church choir and Richard, a skilled woodworker, still builds "legacy" furniture for the children. Ruth is passionate about horseback riding and she trained a ribbon-winning horse. Richard's passion is fly-fishing, which he sees as a "continuous video loop" in his memories. They are still accumulating those memories with numerous fly-fishing trips to Belize, Costa Rica, and other points around the world.
Ruth credits Richard's hard work and savvy investments with providing the means for a satisfying retirement. Richard credits Ruth's management style for keeping everything running smoothly. Their mutual respect and admiration is apparent.
Because their education had the greatest effect for the good on their lives, they each established a scholarship fund. Richard's fund is for students enrolled in the School of Medicine and Ruth's fund is for students in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Recently, they established a charitable gift annuity to increase their retirement income. If it performs as well as they anticipate, they plan to establish another gift annuity next year. Their advice for a happy life is to get a good education. And, "Goal setting is important," says Ruth. "You don't have to know exactly what it is you want to do, but you should know that there is something worth striving for."
Editor's Note: Subsequent to the publication of this article, Dr. Ginter passed away on February 9, 2004.