Husband Richard S. Milstein

Queer Places:
300 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116
Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Jordan Sumner Ruboy (November 22, 1927 – July 20, 2013) dedicated more than 50 professional years to Mass General, seeing patients there and in private practice in Concord, MA. He was also chief of Pediatrics at Concord’s Emerson Hospital and served on the Board of Trustees for Boston Center for Adult Education for 23 years, four as chairman. Dr. Ruboy spent his final two weeks at Mass General as a patient. There he received the compassionate care for which he himself was known. He decided to stop the dialysis treatments for kidney failure that he’d endured for seven years, and told his doctor, David Miller, MD, that he wanted to marry his lifelong partner, Richard S. Milstein. They’d had 48 wonderful years together, but marriage had never been top on their minds until then, Milstein recalled. The palliative care team went out of their way to make Jordan’s final wishes happen, he said. They called city hall to expedite the application for a marriage license and handed me a folder to go get it. He called their rabbi, Howard Berman, and they met in Dr. Ruboy’s hospital room for the ceremony. It was bittersweeet, Milstein said. Dr. Ruboy died five days later on July 20, 2013. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the care and understanding both he and I received at Mass General, especially from Dr. Corinne Alexander and social worker Todd Rinehart, Milstein adds. They went far beyond just providing medical care. Richard S. Milstein established the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Fund in honor of his husband, For he loved Mass General and called it his mother church, Milstein said.

Jordan Sumner Ruboy was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, the only child of Jean and Samuel Ruboy. His father was president of the Standard Fruit Co. for 35 years. Ruboy went to prep school at Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., followed by a master’s in 1951 from Boston University, and then medical school.

He graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine in 1955 and served from 1956 to 1958 in the US Army Medical Corps in Texas. Ruboy returned to the Boston area and worked in private practice at Concord Hillside Pediatrics. He also was a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and Northeastern University. Ruboy was on the Boston Center for Adult Education’s board of directors for 23 years. As chairman for four years, Ruboy led efforts to rehabilitate its Commonwealth Avenue Gamble mansion in preparation for its sale in 2007. Classes are now held at a new headquarters on Arlington Street in Boston, where students spend time in the Jordan S. Ruboy Reading Room. The BCAE is a stronger institution today due to the leadership, dedication, generosity, and passion of Jordan, the center’s executive director Susie Brown said in a statement. We will forever be indebted to him for all he has done for this institution and his commitment to education and lifelong learning.

Milstein met Ruboy at a party in Lexington. They both were dedicated to their careers. Milstein was a key founder of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education in 1969. In retirement they traveled internationally and spent winters in Palm Beach, Fla., where Ruboy was a member of the Palm Beach Society of the Four Arts and the Palm Beach Yacht Club. We enjoyed doing the same sort of things, Milstein said. It was a good life. Ruboy was devoted to the arts, Milstein said. When he was in medical school, he and two other residents shared a season ticket to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. When he became a professional, Ruboy supported the BSO as a Higginson Society member. He also served on the board of the Boston Lyric Opera and was a member of the advisory committee of the department of musical instruments at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Jordan S. Ruboy, MD, Fund was established in 2014 to expand compassionate care programs at Mass General for physicians and health providers.

Ruboy and Milstein’s apartment building at 300 Boylston St, Boston, looks out on the Public Garden, where a magnificent dawn redwood tree near the Rose Garden was memorialized in Dr. Ruboy’s name by their longtime friend, Tom Cox.

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