Ruth L. "Lorraine" Cain, a Ruxton artist and gardener who enjoyed reading and writing poetry, died Aug. 5 of a heart attack at her home. She was 83.
"She was one of the most talented individuals I've ever met," said Anne Carroll Cover, a longtime neighbor and friend. "She was a gardener, played the piano, loved classical music and was a very talented artist. She was so creative and so good at everything."
The daughter of Arthur Mulford, a cattleman, and Ruth Michener Mulford, a homemaker, Ruth Lorraine Mulford was born in Doylestown, Pa., and when she was in her early teens moved to Bel Air and later to Towson.
Mrs. Cain, who never used her first name, graduated in 1950 from the George School, a Quaker school, in Newtown, Pa.
She attended what was then called Towson State Teachers College for three years before leaving in 1953 to marry Silas Winfield Cain, whom she had known since grade school.
The couple lived in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and in 1969, moved to Devon, Pa. While living near Philadelphia, Mrs. Cain earned an associate's degree in interior design from Harcum Junior College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
She and her husband settled in Ruxton in 1981, and after her children were grown, she returned to Towson University and graduated cum laude in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in art,
Mrs. Cain was a woman of many interests. She was an artist who painted landscapes in watercolors and oils. She liked playing the piano and reading and writing poetry.
"She was especially fond of the poems of Billy Collins," said her husband, an investment manager, who is chairman of the board of Mount Vernon Associates.
Mrs. Cain enjoyed working in the garden of her Ruxton home and was a member of the Horticultural Society of Maryland.
She worked with the internationally known landscape designer Wolfgang Oehme, who was a founder of the New American Garden movement, in the design of her Malvern Avenue garden, which was known for its combination of texture and color.
"She had a fish pond and many rare perennials. There was very little grass in her yard, it was mostly flowers," said Mrs. Cover
Last month, Mrs. Cain's garden had been placed on the tour of the Perennial Plant Association that held its symposium in Baltimore.
"It was very nice for my wife's garden to be selected," said her husband.
People came from as far away as Belgium to see her garden, said Mrs. Cover. "There were two or three tour buses filled with people," she added.
A son, Michael Lee Cain of Brunswick, Maine, said his mother gave plants from her garden to friends and family. "As a result, the love she felt for her garden has spread to their gardens as well," he said.
Mrs. Cain also liked carrying on a lively correspondence with family and friends and was known for her humorous Christmas letters that were chronically late — "but not later than March," family members said.
She enjoyed music and was a longtime supporter of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
"Lorraine had a wonderful sense of humor and was always terrific fun," said Mrs. Cover. "She's just a super gal."
Mrs. Cain was a member of the Stony Run Friends Meeting, 5116 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 22.
In addition to her husband and son, she is survived by another son, Kevin Taylor Cain of Phoenix, Baltimore County; and three grandchildren.