Once dubbed Wagga's leading lady, Ruth Gissing has died aged 99 years old.
Born in 1922 at Old Borambola, Ruth finished her schooling just as World War II started.
In 1936 she attended Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney as a boarder and soon after returning to the family farm in Old Borambola, she became involved in local community affairs.
She joined the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment, volunteering at Wagga Base Hospital and at an army hospital at Wagga Showground.
A few years after the war had ended Ruth met her husband Morris Gissing who had returned to Wagga after serving in the Army Signals Corps.
They were married at St John's Church on May 26, 1948 and had a son Peter and a daughter Margaret.
Morris went on to serve five terms as mayor of Wagga, with Ruth engaged as mayoress.
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Ruth's son Peter described his mother as being "well entrenched in the city" with her family background of forefathers who had lived in Wagga since the 1800s.
"She came from old Wagga families - Brunskill and Blake," he said.
"When my dad was mayor from 1971, his first time I think, "mum, of course, was in the thick of that when she got into the mayoress' role and was active in her own right, as well as supporting dad.
"Of course, things tapered off when she got older and became less capable.
"Mum and dad enjoyed an active retirement for many years and enjoyed spending time with family and particularly with grandchildren and later great grandchildren.
"Later as Morris became seriously ill, she devoted herself for several years to his care and support at home.
"This was an exceedingly difficult period for her, but she faced it with commitment and determination."
Peter said his mother had given him great memories and support throughout her life.
Ruth was presented with an award from The Red Cross in 2011 for 70 years of service.
"I would say the thing that was all important for her was family and not too far behind that her involvement in the community," Peter said.
"She was a member of the Red Cross for about 80 years until the day she died and was always on the go but she was always there when you wanted her.
"She was a perfect mother and a great citizen of Wagga."
Ruth suffered serious health problems and moved into residential aged care in 2016.
A service of thanksgiving will take place at St John's Anglican Church on Monday, July 21 at 10.30am with a live stream available at www.bancefunerals.com.au for those unable able to attend.
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