HAVERHILL: Ruben Santa-Waldron died on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. An avid runner and biology major at Northern Essex Community College, Ruben was nineteen.
Ruben attended Walnut Square School, Saint Joseph School of All Saints Parish, and Haverhill High School where he graduated in June 2016. He was in his sophomore year at Northern Essex Community College where he was majoring in biology.
Ruben was an accomplished carpenter, working with his father, Peter Waldron, building scenery for theater productions in the region. For the past three summers, Ruben assisted his father building scenery for Theater Workshop of Nantucket productions.
As a child, Ruben participated in the Adventures in Art program at Veasey Park in Groveland directed by Susan Blim, and as a teen he studied art with Sharon Silverman at Trainside Gallery and Shoe Town Arts. Ruben was a volunteer for the New Moon Coffeehouse in Haverhill, helping to set up the stage and chairs for acoustic music concerts.
Ruben pursued his interests in biology through his care for a multitude of pets over the years including a variety of reptiles, amphibians, insects, arthropods, fish, birds, and mice. Ruben enjoyed visiting the Zoo Creatures and Petco pet stores in Plaistow, NH, where he would immerses himself in observations of different creatures, especially the mice and fish. He dedicated himself to understanding how different living creatures move, especially how thee skeletal structure enables a specific creature’s gate or means of locomotion.
Ruben also loved gardening. Lake Street Garden Center in Salem, NH was a favorite destination. Even as a very young child he enjoyed observing and drawing the shapes and color, and annotating the purposes of various seeds, bulbs, tubers, flowers, leaves, fruits, stems, twigs, and branches of different kinds of plants and trees. He delighted in every kind of flower, especially rosemary, thyme, lemon, balm, and lemon verbena. Balsam fir was also a favorite fragrance.
Bright, curious, and unconventional, Ruben delighted in scientific inquiry, observing, observing the wonders of nature, and engaging in challenging physical activity both indoors and out. Winnekenni Park was one of his favorite places. He often ran through Winnekenni Park woodland trails, and observed the flora and fauna along the shores of Kenoza Lake. Always intrigued and amazed at the night sky, Ruben was overjoyed this past summer at attend the Rockland Astronomy Club’s annual Summer Star Party in Peppermint Park Camping Grounds in westerns MA.
Ruben was an accomplished athlete. During his four years at Haverhill High School, he completed twelve seasons running with the high school’s cross country, indoor track, and track and field teams. At NECC, Ruben participated in the President’s Running Club and the NECC cross country and track teams. He represented NECC at the State Championship cross country meet in the Fall 2017. He won the St. James Parish annual 5k race two years in a row.
He trained in martial arts at Changs Taekwondo America, achieving a second degree black belt in taekwondo, and participated in the dojang’s mixed martial arts training program. He was also a member of Choice Fitness in Haverhil and enjoyed yoga classes at the Yoga Tree in downtown Haverhill.
Always a lover of the outdoors, Ruben especially loved camping, swimming, fishing, biking, running, and hiking during family vacations in Maine, New Hampshire, Texas and Mexico. Ruben looked forward to long runs along the roads of Nantucket. He enjoyed swimming in the ocean, and he especially loved eating all kinds of seafood.
Sometimes shy and always modest, Ruben was a very sensitive and engaging personality. He enjoyed getting to know people and sharing ideas. He was inquisitive and caring, and especially enjoyed conversations on a wide range of topics, including natural phenomena, social conversations, customs, traditions, events and persons of history, art, music, and religion. He had an original sense of humor, and especially enjoyed puns. He was a parishioner at All Saints Parish in Haverhill where he was an altar server for many years.
Ruben will be greatly missed. He is survived by his parents, Peter and Catherine Waldron, and his brother, Eric Santa, all of Haverhill. He is also survived by a large extended family including aunts, uncles, cousins, and close family friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at All Saints Parish of Haverhill on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Calling hours at Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main Street, Haverhill will be Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Memorial contributions in Ruben’s name can be made to the Northern Essex Community College Foundation, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830 – if by check, made out to the NECC Foundation with Ruben’s Santa-Waldron’s name noted on the check. Contributions will be allocated to the college’s science and running programs which Ruben loved and enjoyed so very much. Calling hours will be from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main Street, Haverhill.