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Ruth Blum Baker
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Birth: unknown
Staten Island
Richmond County (Staten Island)
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 16, 2011
Suffolk County
New York, USA

Longtime educator and St. George resident Ruth Baker, 95, died Friday at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, Long Island from complications of pneumonia following surgery at Richmond University Medical Center to repair a hip fracture she sustained last month.

Born Ruth Blum on Staten Island, she grew up in Port Richmond, graduated from PS 20 and Port Richmond High School, and earned a bachelor degree in education from New York University.

Mrs. Baker was licensed as an elementary education teacher in 1941, and assigned to PS 36 in Annadale as a kindergarten teacher. She taught at the school until 1972, and served as principal for the last several years of her tenure there.

The PTA and Annadale community honored her with a special retirement party in recognition of her service as a mainstay for twenty-six years. Many former students attended the event, including her son, Howard, who was enrolled at the school from kindergarten through 4th grade.

"Mrs. Baker's Kindergarten was a special place where local school children received their first exposure to formal education, and her classroom provided a warm, fun, caring, and stimulating environment," her son recalled. "An annual spring highlight was the Class Fair students wore costumes they made, played games, and displayed their artwork. At this time, PS 36 was a small, one-class-per-grade schoolhouse," he said.

Mrs. Baker moved from PS 36 to PS 22, where she mentored younger teachers.

When her husband, Abraham, served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during WW II, Mrs. Baker lived with her parents in Port Richmond. She and her husband moved to Randall Manor in 1948, and to St. George in 1982.

Mrs. Baker was a lifetime member of Temple Emanu-El in Port Richmond, and a longtime member of its Board of Trustees and Sisterhood. At the time of her death, she was the congregation's recording secretary.

At the temple's 100th anniversary celebration in 2007, she was honored for her lifetime of devoted service to the synagogue. Her parents, Sidney and Blanche Blum, and grandparents, Jacob and Annie Reitman, were among Temple Emanu-El's earliest members.

Mrs. Baker and her husband, Abraham, were founding members of the Island Swim Club.

After retiring from teaching in 1980, she served as an active volunteer for many years at S.I. Hospital and Snug Harbor Cultural Center. She also served on the board of directors of the 50 Fort Place Cooperative, Inc., in St. George.

In 1997, Mrs. Baker became the first volunteer at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street in Manhattan. "Due in large part to her warm and friendly manner, the Museum always recorded more donations from tourists and visitors on the days when she was on duty," said her son.

She also participated in United Federation of Teachers courses and programs for retired teachers, and enjoyed cooking, knitting, and the theater. Until her passing, she held special status as the "senior member" at Baker-Blumin family reunions.

Her husband of fifty-seven years, Abraham, died in 1996.

In addition to her son, Howard, Mrs. Baker is survived by one granddaughter and two great-grandchildren.

The funeral services will be held tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, followed by burial at Baron Hirsch Cemetery, Graniteville.
Published in the Staten Island Advance on September 18, 2011. 
Family links: 
  Abraham A. Baker (1913 - 1996)
Baron Hirsch Cemetery
Staten Island
Richmond County (Staten Island)
New York, USA
Created by: Ryan D. Curtis
Record added: Sep 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76736697
Ruth <i>Blum</i> Baker
Added by: Ryan D. Curtis
Ruth <i>Blum</i> Baker
Cemetery Photo
Added by: David Zeller
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Ryan D. Curtis
 Added: Sep. 19, 2011

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