Edith Ruth Auten Rohrman

Edith Ruth Auten Rohrman

Edie lived in Gibbstown for 50+ years, but her heart was in Swedesboro. A sunny August day in 1999 found her beloved borough at a crossroads. The John C. Rulon House, a prominent structure in the middle of town, was being auctioned. Everyone of note was in attendance and aware that this was a make-or-break moment for the future of Swedesboro. When the gavel fell there was a collective sigh of relief. Albert and Edie Rohrman had won the bid. Of course, there was much work ahead restoring the “Musty Mansion” as well as getting it added to the NJ and National Historic Registry, but for Edie, it was familiar territory. She had been a volunteer project manager to restore Trinity “Old Swedes” Episcopal Church after roof truss failure in the 90’s. During this project she was nicknamed the dumpster lady, climbing around the debris looking for anything of historical significance. Edie was one of the few who were gutsy enough to climb the steeple scaffolding all the way to the top: 106 feet to be exact.

It was often said that Edie was born in the third pew of Trinity. She had been raised in the church, her father, the Reverend Parker F. Auten, was the pastor while she was growing up. She served the church her entire life. She was the secretary for many years, gave tours for schoolchildren, was the organist and held many positions on the vestry over the years.

People mattered to Edie: she took the time to catch up not just with you, but all of your family. She knew everyone’s names, everyone’s children and grandchildren’s names, all about their careers and pastimes.

Though she was constantly busy she certainly knew how to have a good time and enjoyed traveling with Albert. Edie would go to her escape in St. Thomas and had adventures all around the globe. She enjoyed being out on the water with Albert in their sailboat, Mis Fortune, and Carpe Diem, their boat at the Raccoon Boat Club. She tooled around in her 380SL Mercedes convertible; she and Al had his and hers models. And they both had pilot’s licenses occasionally pulling back on the yolk and soaring into the clouds.

She read incessantly. She would get 5 newspapers per day as well as many magazines per month. Articles of interest were clipped out and stored away for safekeeping. It was all part of her drive to preserve history which she learned from her daddy. Of course, she not only studied the history of Swedesboro, she lived it. Edie was most proud of the fact that she met the King of Sweden when he visited and accompanied him to Longwood Gardens.

Edie was generous to a fault; just about every request for money was met with a check. Even the squirrels and cats in the neighborhood relied on her: come 4 o’clock they’d be mulling around waiting to be fed.

Edith Ruth was born at Mayaffey’s Maternity Hospital, attended the original Auburn Avenue School, Swedesboro Grammar School, graduated Swedesboro High Class of ’61 and Glassboro State College class of ’65. Early years found her teaching 6th grade at J Mason Tomlin School. She went on to work as office manager at S.J. Groves and Sons Company on the I295 project. She often said, “I helped build 295”. She also worked for the New Jersey State Preservation Office where she an integral part of getting such places as the Old Swedes Inn added to the NJ Historic Registry.

The freshman, Edie Auten would catch the eye of a sophomore, the late Albert C. Rohman, Jr. They would share a 54-year marriage. She is survived by her “foster” daughter, Michelle Simone (Jamie); sister-in-law, Eileen Lynch (Frank); nieces and nephews, Fern, Fawn, Michael and Christopher; cousins, Dorothy Sutton, Cathy Bennett and Carol Sutton; and caretaker and friend, Mary Magdin.

Come celebrate 81 great years Wednesday 6-8 p.m. and Thursday 9-10 a.m. at Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro where there will be a 10 a.m. storytime service, followed by a noon service at Trinity Episcopal Church. Interment to follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to Trinity Foundation, P.O. Box 51, Swedesboro NJ 08085 will be appreciated.

2 Comments

  1. Bill and Louise Yeager says:

    So sorry for the loss of a wonderful woman who will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She has gone home now to be with her Lord.

  2. Lynne Randall says:

    Thank you, Edie for enriching the lives of so many at Trinity and the Swedesboro community along with countless friends , acquaintances and relatives. My adult kids, who grew up attending services at Trinity, always felt that you were a special person in their life and my late husband and , who both served on the Vestry with you, felt the same way. You are at peace now and in the arms of your Albert, Rest in peace. The Randall family

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