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Ruth Jefford was the first woman commercial air taxi pilot in Alaska, flying planes in the state for 60 years. Jefford became the first woman licensed to instruct students at Merrill Field. A noted violinist, she was a founding member of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra as well as concertmaster for almost 30 years. A friend noted that the violin was sort of on an equal basis with the airplane. She loved to play and she loved to fly. Jefford was well known as a mentor to young women in aviation and music.