|Ruth Elizabeth Cocker Kenefick
Ruth Elizabeth Cocker Kenefick, a fifth generation Washingtonian, died on September
20, 2011 at the Lorien Nursing Home in Mt Airy, Maryland of complications from
Alzheimers disease. She was born July 22, 1916.
The daughter of Charles Riggles Cocker and Pearl Viola German Cocker, Ruth was
raised in Georgetown, attended Gordon Jr. High and graduated from Western High
School (now Duke Ellington School of the Arts) in Washington, D.C. in 1938.
Mrs. Kenefick's great-grandfather settled in Georgetown after the Civil War. Her
grandfather, Malachi German, drove a horse drawn trolley from Georgetown to the White
House. In her childhood, Mrs. Kenefick recalled carrying her grandfather's lunch pail to
the Georgetown terminal and accompanying him on his route while he ate lunch. She
also recalled that one of the family's neighbors was attorney, Robert Lincoln, the only
surviving son of President Abraham Lincoln.
Mrs. Kenefick went to work for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. as an
operator after high school. She left the phone company to accompany her husband to
Panama in 1946, returning to the Washington area in 1951.
The family lived in Seat Pleasant, Maryland and in Washington, D.C. until 1956 when
they moved to Wheaton. Mrs. Kenefick was active in Democratic politics and civic
affairs in Wheaton. She worked as a housekeeper at the Rectory of St. Catherine
Laboure Church in Wheaton from the mid 1960s until her retirement in 1978.
Mrs. Kenefick moved to Mt. Airy, Maryland in 1978, where she participated in the Mt.
Airy Senior Center on a daily basis.
Mrs. Kenefick’s husband, Joseph Aloysius Kenefick died in 1974.
She is survived by seven children, Bruce J. of Springfield, VA, Gregory P. of Annapolis,
MD, Donald J. of Northern Neck, VA, Kevin A. of Winchester, VA, Terrence G. of St.
Leonard, MD, Deirdre J. of Mt. Airy, MD, and George J. of Mt. Airy; eight grandchildren
and seven great-grandchildren.