Ruth Elizabeth Warfel, 89, died Feb. 18, 2010, at the Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland after a period of declining health.

Born Aug. 13, 1920, in Lancaster, Pa., she was the daughter of George Earle and Mary (Breuninger) Warfel. Ruth graduated from high school in Lancaster and received her bachelor’s degree in library science from Millersville University in Millersville, Pa. She enjoyed a few years as an elementary school teacher before enlisting in the Navy during World War II.

Ensign Warfel was stationed with the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C., for two years. Following her discharge from the military, she received a master’s degree in college administration from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Later, she pursued further graduate work at Columbia University in New York city.

From 1948 until 1960, Ruth served as associate dean of students at Potsdam State University in Potsdam, N.Y. In 1961 she joined Miami University in Miami, Ohio, as dean of women. In 1964 Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., asked her to join the school as dean of women. She retired in 1982 from that position.

Retirement brought her to Maine, where she had enjoyed summers for many years. In 1957 Ruth, along with with Marvin Garner, Margaret Garner and Clela Reeves, purchased a property at Lincolnville Beach and opened Lincolnville Studios, a shop for books and pottery that they ran until 1980. Ruth and her friends all acquired nearby retirement homes and have been Maine residents for many years.

Ruth enjoyed traveling, and was an accomplished calligrapher, an opera buff and choral singer. She was an active volunteer for the American Association of University Women, the blood bank and local community groups. Ruth served as a member of the boards of trustees of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport.

Ruth was predeceased by a brother, Richard Breuninger Warfel, in 2009.

She is survived by a sister-in-law, Greta Warfel, of Virginia; two nieces, Susan Warfel Powell and her husband, Kevin, of Herndon, Va., and Alyssa Warfel of Taos, N.M.; several great-nieces and -nephews; several cousins; and a host of friends.

A private memorial is planned for spring. Interment will be in the Strasburg Cemetery in Strasburg, Pa.

Memorial contributions may be made to Penobscot Bay Medical Center, 5 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport, ME 04856.

Arrangements are with Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Camden.