Ruth Padgett

Obituary of Ruth S. Padgett

Ruth S. Padgett passed away in her sleep on December 5th 2021 in Eugene Oregon.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles L. Padgett, and is survived by her daughters, Pam and Courtenay Padgett. Ruth was born in Baltimore Maryland February 26, 1932 to Beverly and Bertha (Layhee) Stansbury. In the last six years Ruth lived in Eugene to be close to Courtenay, after living in Phoenix Arizona for 14 years. While in Phoenix she was very involved with the Heard Museum, becoming quite knowledgeable about Native American culture, art and jewelry.  But, her first love was Alexandria, Virginia where she lived for over 40 years.  Ruth began her career in Alexandria as a special education teacher, moving into social work, initially with the City of Alexandria and then with The American Red Cross. Along the way her love of fashion and style had her working with several clothing boutiques. Ruth was active in city politics, participating in numerous election campaigns and civic endeavors. She devoted many years to the Little Theater of Alexandria, producing shows and serving on the Board of Governors. Throughout her life she was, perhaps, best known for organizing, catering, and hosting parties. She catered dozens of weddings and scores of birthdays, openings, and celebrations.  Her Washington’s Birthday open house on Prince Street was the place to be for at least a decade. At her request, and in the spirit of Ruth’s love of a good party, we are bequeathing her recipe for the Super-Secret Shrimp Mousse.

3 lb. cooked shrimp (the small “salad shrimp” are ideal)

2 cups sour cream

1 lb. cream cheese

1 cup Hellman mayonnaise

½ green pepper – chopped fine

½ small onion – chopped fine

1 4-oz. jar of pimento – chopped fine

½ cup prepared chili sauce

Dash of Tabasco sauce

1 Tbsp. Worchester sauce.

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

½ cup cold water

2 envelopes gelatin.

  1. Heat the lemon juice, water and gelatin in a double boiler.
  2. Using a food processor, chop the shrimp quite finely and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add chopped green pepper and onion to the bowl with the shrimp and mix.
  4. Mix the sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimento, chili sauce, Tabasco, and Worchester sauce in the food processor.
  5. Mix all (except the gelatin mixture) ingredients together in the large bowl.
  6. Add the gelatin mixture last and combine well.
  7. Prepare a mold (the Ruth classic is a fish mold) by coating the surface well with Pam or similar spray oil.
  8. Pour the shrimp mixture into the mold, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to set in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. When the mousse is set, remove the plastic, cover the mold with the serving platter and flip the platter and mold over to release the mousse.  You may need to use a warm, wet cloth on top of the mold to release the mousse.
  10. The mousse is served with crackers.  The classic-Ruth choice is Waverly Wafers.

 In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene OR, The Little Theater of Alexandria VA, or the Heard Museum in Phoenix AZ.

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