Longtime assistant to presidents dies of cancer

Ruth Carol LaBombard, who served as secretary and assistant to four College presidents between 1961 to 1989, died of cancer Sunday at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She was 59.

LaBombard came to the College in 1961 from “Ski” magazine, where she rose from secretary to production manager overeight years. At Dartmouth, she worked under College presidents John Sloan Dickey, John Kemeny, David McLaughlin and James Freedman.

She acted as assistant administrator of the Hitchcock Clinic following her departure from the College until her death.

“She was a very special and caring person,” former assistant to the president Alex Fannelli said.

Fannelli, a 1942 graduate of the College, worked with LaBombard for more than 10 years. “She made us all feel good in [the President’s] office,” he said. “She made it easier for him to do the job. Those were difficult days in the 1970s. There was a lot of turmoil.”

Funeral services will be held today at 2 p.m. at the Ricker Funeral Home in Lebanon. A burial will follow at the Hanover Center Cemetery.

LaBombard is survived by her husband Willis of Etna, N.H., daughter Donna LaFountain of Auburn, N.H., sister Dorothy Priest of Stow, Mass., brother James Braman of Piermont, N.H. and two grandchildren.

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