LINCOLN - Ruth Butler Bantle, 89, died peacefully November 8, 2015, at Colonial Acres health care facility, Lincoln. She was born April 6, 1926, in Kingman, the daughter of Charles and Martha (Matson) Butler.
She was predeceased by her parents, Charles and Martha; her husband, Bert Bantle; her sister, Margaret Coombs; and two brothers, Robert Butler and Charles Eugene Butler. Ruthe is survived by her sister, Agnes Cantara, of Howland; sister-in-law, Alice Butler, of Lincoln; and several nieces and nephews, including Jane and Dianne, who were very close to her heart.
Ruthe graduated from Mattawamkeag High School in 1943, where she was recruited by Uncle Sam to attend Quoddy Vocational School. At Quoddy, she learned to be an airplane mechanic and was the only girl in her class. From there, she was transferred to Presque Isle, where she worked as a mechanic for the US Air Force. After WWII ended, she worked for American Overseas Airlines for many years, traveling the world, eventually ending up in New York City where she obtained her pilot license and was a 1st Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. While in New York, Ruthe worked as director of the Mayflower Limited (a replica ship of The Mayflower). She then went on to work at the Empire State Building for Seaboard World Airlines as director of advertising and public relations, being one of the first women to occupy this position in the airline industry. After 18 years apart, Ruthe married Bert Bantle, who she had met while working in Presque Isle. Bert and Ruthe moved to California where he worked as a test pilot and they traveled extensively. After 24 years of marriage, Bert passed away and several years later, Ruthe moved back to Maine to be closer to her family. In her later years, she decided to publish her memoirs and share her life story and many accomplishments with family and friends. Ruthe loved spending time with her family and she especially enjoyed family gatherings.
Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Wednesday, November 11, at Clay Funeral Home, 7 Lee Rd., Lincoln, where a memorial service will be held at 12 noon. Interment will be in Mattawamkeag Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed at www.clayfuneralhome.com.