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The Times
  • Ruth Smith

  • Ruth Smith, age 99, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 15, 2012, in her home.

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  • Ruth Smith, age 99, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 15, 2012, in her home.
    She was born in Betula, PA; the daughter of the late John and Laura (Keenan) Smith. The family moved to Salisbury Center in 1915 and they were longtime residents of that village.
    Ruth's early education was in the newly built four-room Salisbury Center grade school. The excellent teachers she met there, particularly a Miss Glennie Near, influenced her decision to enter the field of teaching.
    She was a graduate of Dolgeville High School class of 1929 and soon entered the Canajoharie Teachers Training class.
    For ten years, she taught in area rural one-room schools. She continued her education at Potsdam and received her diploma. She accepted a teaching position at West Canada Valley Central School as a member of the Elementary staff. Later, she received a BS Degree in education from Syracuse University, and continued teaching until her retirement.
    Ruth had a very happy and busy retirement. She was an avid reader, enjoyed "scrabble" and was a good player. The New York Times crossword puzzle book was always near her chair.
    In fine weather, she enjoyed her "daily" walk and would start out, field glasses around her neck, and come home with a handful of wildflowers (or weeds), get out her sketch book, and make a meticulous drawing of each "find", and then get out the Peterson's Field Guide and write in the name.
    In winter, she loved to snowshoe and would help to make the rounds to keep our bird feeders filled.
    For years, she was a member of the local Audubon Bird Club, the Salisbury Covered Bridge Herb and Garden Club, and the Salisbury Historical Society. Many happy hours were spent sorting and cataloging its varied and interesting acquisitions.
    Most of all, she enjoyed visiting and corresponding with her family and friends.
    On her father's side, she was descended through her grandmother, Rachel Campbell Smith, from ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. On her mother's side, she was a descendent of the Keenan family. Her grandfather, Pierce, and brothers, William and Charles, lived in Canada and sailed the Great Lakes in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Later, Pierce left Canada and moved his family to Pennsylvania.
    Besides her parents, Ruth was preceded in death by her brother, Lowell; sister, Wilma Jarrett; and nephew, William Heisig.
    She is survived by a much loved family: a sister, Cora, of Herkimer; sister-in-law, June, of Hadley; niece, Carol Smith, of Monmouth, NJ; and a nephew, Robert and wife, Linda, also of NJ. She also leaves dearly loved great- and great-grandnieces and nephews, Laurel Heisig, Sharon and Dan Gress and their children, Iaan, Andrew and Rachael; William's family, Laura, Eric and Jessica Heisig, as well as Christopher and Dina Heisig, and daughter, Lucia Genevieve.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ruth will be missed by all of her family for she was such a large part of it for ninety-nine years.
    A private service will be held at the convenience of the family.
    Contributions in Ruth's memory can be made to The Salisbury Center Methodist Church, 2545 State Rte. 29, Salisbury Center, NY 13454, or the West Canada Valley School Scholarship Fund, 5447 State Rte 28, Newport, NY 13416.
    Funeral arrangements are with Fenner Funeral Home, Inc., Herkimer.
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