Written by DandTMartin4ever
Born: Ruth Parker
Amy Tyler - sister
Married to: Ted Brent - deceased Dr. Joseph Martin Children: Phillip (Phil) Brent, Sr. Adopted son with Ted (Amy Tyler and Nick Davis' biological son (deceased) Thaddeus (Tad) Gardner Martin - Adopted son with Joe (Ray and Opal Gardner's biological son) Dr. Joseph (Jake) Martin, Jr. - son with Joe Grandchildren: Phillip (Charlie) Brent, Jr. - Phil's son James (Jamie) Edward Martin - Tad's son Baby Brent - great grandchild (Charlie's child with Cecily)
Occupation: Retired nurse, Pine Valley Hospital
Nurse Ruth Brent was content with her life. That was until she met widower Dr. Joe Martin. Though Ruth went along with his harmless flirtations, she never let it seem like she betraying her husband, used-car salesman Ted Brent. Ted and Ruth’s marriage was already strained when the couple decided to move back to Pine Valley with their son, Phil Brent. Ted was worried about Ruth’s sister, Amy Tyler’s, constant intervention in Phil’s life. In fact, Ted was threatened because of a deal he and Ruth made years ago to keep Phil safe.
Amy was pregnant and had nowhere else to turn. Ruth and Ted decided to adopt her son, Phil. They raised Phil as their own. But, back in Pine Valley, now wealthy Amy could offer Phil anything under the sky. Soon, the couple had to rally together to protect Phil when a man from Amy’s past came back to Pine Valley. It was Nick Davis, Phil’s biological father. After Phil almost died in a gas leak at the Brent home, Nick learned the truth. Ted went to confront Nick, but in a drunken rage crashed into a telephone pole and died. Ruth feared she was going to grieve alone after Phil left town to find himself, and Amy went to Switzerland to help with the anti-war effort.
But, Ruth found solace in the arms of the kind doctor who made her life at the hospital that much better. Soon, she was spending more time at the Martin home than her own. She had long been a friend with Joe’s mother, Kate Martin. In Kate, she found her confidant and admitted she had feelings for her son. Soon, Joe and Ruth were married.
Wedded bliss could not cover the tragedy that was soon to rock the Martin home. Nick and Ruth had grown worried when Phil turned eighteen because of the draft to Vietnam. As luck would have it, his number was called and he was asked to report for duty. No praying could prepare Ruth for another tragedy in her life, the death of her son. Realizing the full ramifications of the war, Ruth became a staunch supporter calling for its end.
Tara Martin turned to Ruth with the truth about the night Phil went to report. He and Tara had in fact been stranded together in a cabin, where they married each other. She was now pregnant with his son. Ruth wanted Tara to be honest, but she had already concocted a plan with Chuck Tyler to have him claim to be the baby’s father. Ruth realized that Tara was just like Amy all those years ago, and decided not to break her silence about the plan to anyone. That was until a miracle came to Pine Valley.
Phil was found alive in the jungle. Ruth rejoiced, but struggled to come to grips with the truth about little Phillip Tyler’s paternity. Ruth and Tara were constantly at heads over the deception, putting Joe in a precarious position.
Jeff Martin and his wife Mary Kennicott announced they were going to adopt an abused runaway named Tad Gardner. He was assigned as a ward to the Martins, and made himself comfortable in the Martin home with Little Phillip. After Mary’s tragic murder, Jeff could not bear it in his hear to remain in Pine Valley. Joe and Ruth agreed that they would adopt Tad. They became his legal guardians and began the search for his biological parents to sign off their rights to them.
Little Phillip fell ill, and neither Chuck nor Tara’s blood could help him. Ruth knew time was running out and that the deception needed to be cleared up. Phil learned the truth: he was a father. But Tara begged again that their charade be kept in place so as to not hurt little Phillip. When Phillip learned the truth, he changed his name to Charlie in honor of Chuck. Then, the Brents announced they were leaving Pine Valley to try to work things out.
The drama of the younger Martin bore its burden on the elder Martin’s marriage. Joe was spending an excessive amount of time at work with abuse victim Leora Sanders. Ruth had befriended an orderly, David Thornton. David revealed that he was so traumatized by his time in Vietnam that he had given up on being a doctor. Ruth helped him rediscover his abilities, and he passed his boards again to be a doctor. David told her that he would give up again without her. On the night Ruth was set to leave Joe, his appendix burst. The ordeal made Ruth realize how much she loved Joe. She told David that it would be best if they did not spend time together anymore.
Joe found out the location of Tad’s biological father, Ray Gardner. When he asked Ray for custody of Tad, he would only do so for $10,000. He came back to Pine Valley not wanting to give in to Ray’s extortion attempts. Ruth believed Joe had given up to soon. She called Ray to set up another attempt, accidentally slipping the fact that they were in Pine Valley.
Ray arrived on the Martin door and scared Tad. Ruth realized that Ray was not a man to be bargained with and sent him packing. But, Ray was not going to leave empty handed. He calculated an attack on Ruth, raping her in a parking lot. Phil chased him down to Locust Street, eventually apprehending him with the help of Billy Clyde Tuggle.
With Ray in prison, Ruth and Joe finally adopted Tad. But, Ruth’s fears of being home alone intensified. She went to Center City and bought a pistol just in case Joe or Phil was not around to save her a second time. This was compounded by the fact that Ray had weaseled his way out of prison later that year.
After a hostage incident, Ray was recaptured and indicted for more charges. Phil and Tara made final plans to move out of Pine Valley permanently with Phil’s new job for the Federal Narcotics Bureau. Just Ruth was to say goodbye to one son, she learned another was on the way. Even at great risk in her advanced age, she decided to see the baby term. That Christmas, Joseph “Joey” Martin, jr. was born.
Tad began acting up, smoking pot and stealing things. Ruth wanted to care for her son, but his actions only increased in mischief the more she tried to intervene. Tragedy rocked the Martin home with news that Phil had died in a plan crash. This time there would be no miracle. As Ruth mourned her son, Joe reminded her that he was a hero to the nation. Phil was given a proper burial with a military rifle salute. In the end, Tad realized that he was being a burden to his adoptive family. He needed to find himself and announced that he too would be moving out of town.
As soon as Tad left, his extended family made their way to Pine Valley in the form of his mother Opal Gardner, and sister Jenny Gardner. The Martins took the Gardners in, tough Ruth and Opal’s mothering styles differed greatly. Jenny would serve as the catalyst to end Ruth nightmares. Ray, who was free from prison, had planned to blow up the Martin home. Instead, when he saw Jenny, he ran away from the bomb and died. Joey, who was playing who had found her gun, had accidentally shot Kate. Ruth declared she was never going to live in fear again and disposed of the gun.
Tad came back to town even more belligerent than when he left. Now, he had to balance a double life as a Martin and as a Gardner. Opal was surprisingly helpful in seeing through his plots, though Ruth was not a pushover either.
Kate died quietly in her sleep. All the Martin returned for her funeral. Joe and Ruth learned that Tara had a baby girl with her new husband, Jim Jefferson, that she affectionately named Kate.
The younger Martins became a fixture in the Martin home. Charlie, Tad and Joey now all young teens kept the Martin’s young with the love problems. But, the Martins had grown especially fond of Tad’s latest love, Dixie Cooney. When they married, Joe and Ruth got another grandson in the form of Junior Chandler.
Tad would be presumed dead in a bridge explosion at the hands of Billy Clyde Tuggle. Ruth was with Dixie when it happened, the day Tad and Dixie were to marry again.
Charlie returned from Stanford deciding he no longer wanted to become a doctor. He began working with Erica Kane at Enchantment as her spokes model. Ruth recognized that Erica was fresh off the rebound from her marriage with Travis Montgomery, and was ready to make a move on Charlie. Not wanting her to hurt another generation of Brent men, she called in reinforcements in the form of Nick. Nick was able to persuade Erica to stop her pursuit of Charlie for her own sake.
Tad returned to Pine Valley as the amnesiac Ted Orsini. When Joe and Ruth met him at the hospital, his memories came swarming back. In his absence, Brooke English had fathered his child. After a brief marriage, he and Dixie reconciled. The Martin family became a great blended family with Tad’s family unit with Dixie, and Opal as another matriarch figure with Ruth.
But, the symbol of safety and stability that the Martin home had come to represent came crashing down the night a tornado hit Pine Valley. Tad was severely injured. Joe and Ruth swarmed to save their son who they were not willing to loose again. In the aftermath their home was destroyed. Though it would be rebuilt, Ruth knew it was never going to be the same.
That New Years, Joe christened their newly renovated home. Though he was excited about the future, Ruth could not bear but to remember the past that had been lost. Tad surprised his parents by arranging a family reunion with some of Joe and Ruth’s closest friends. Each brought them a photo to replace the ones lost in the storm. All the memories of the home came flooding back to the new structure.
Tara proved to be her irresponsible self when Kate, now going by Kelsey, made her way to Pine Valley, pregnant. When the child, Sam Grey, was born, he was to be adopted by Edmund and Maria Grey, a colleague of Joe’s. Joe did not mesh well with Edmund’s brother, Dimitri. They had a heated argument, when Joe collapsed of a heart attack. He did his best to hide the condition from Ruth, but she was not to be lied to.
Ruth began to sponsor philanthropic causes abroad, spending little time in Pine Valley. This began to strain her marriage. She ended her last mission just in time to see Tad and Dixie walk down the aisle a third time.
Ruth maternal instincts went into overdrive when Joey, now Jake, and Tad began to had conflicts amongst themselves. Joey was now more serious and did not always respond well to Tad’s humor. This came to heads when both men took separate sides over Liza Colby pushing Mia Saunders off the Chandler veranda. Ruth reconciled the brothers in time for Christmas.
Dixie’s death had hit the Martin family hard. Ruth and Joe watched as Tad and Dixie’s family unit crumbled with JR and Jamie’s feuding. There hope returned when Dixie seemingly was found alive in the form of Di Kirby, the Chandler nanny. She acted and knew everything that Dixie did. Ruth was convinced she was her late daughter-in-law and proceeded to push her and Tad back together. She, like the other residents, was fooled. Di was not Dixie, but her sister. All that Di had repaired came apart again.
Through all this, Joe and Ruth have stayed together remaining the corner
stone of Pine Valley.
Mary Fickett (1970-1995 (contract); 1998-2002 (recurring) Lee Meriwether (1996-1997 (contract); 2002-present (recurring)
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