|Birth: ||Nov. 12, 1916|
|Death: ||Mar. 20, 2009|
NORTH ANDOVER — Elizabeth (Bette) Jane Weir Ruf died Friday, March 20, 2009 at the Meadows in North Andover.
She was born on Nov. 12, 1916 in Cleveland, to James W. Weir and Gertrude Vernal Aiken Weir. After graduating from Cleveland Heights High School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, she studied for one year at Hiram College and ultimately received a B.A. in Sociology and History from the College of Wooster in 1938. She later continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and New York University's Sunrise Semester. She taught Physical Education and Western Civilization and served as Dean of Students at Dover High School in Westlake, Ohio, where she also met her husband of 63 years, William A. Ruf.
Bette's young adulthood was indelibly marked by World War II. Her older brother William (Bill) served as a Navy Commander on a ship in the Pacific and then again during the Korean War. Bette's younger brother Robert (Bob) served as a pilot in the Army Air Forces. He was killed in a training exercise at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1942 and is buried in the island's famous Punchbowl Cemetery. Bette's husband, Bill Ruf, was called to service on their honeymoon in 1942 and entered the Army Air Force as a Private. To assist in the war effort, Bette studied nursing at Western Reserve University and served as a nurse's aide at bases in Tonapah, Nev., and Bishop, Calif., where her husband was stationed. Her first daughter, Betsy, was born in San Francisco in 1945.
In 1948, Bette and Bill moved to Brockport, N.Y., where they lived for the next 26 years. Their second daughter, Carolyn, was born in 1950. Bette continued her work as a nurse's aide at the Brockport Memorial Hospital for the next decade and also taught life-saving courses. She was an avid supporter of the Girl Scouts and led several troops. Bill was a Professor of English at SUNY Brockport, and Bette volunteered at the college library. During their years in Brockport, Bette and Bill hosted dozens of Sunday open houses for the faculty of SUNY Brockport. Bette was a charter member of the Morgan-Manning House Restoration Guild. Her daughter Betsy's wedding reception was the first event to be held in the newly-restored historic mansion in 1967. After Bill's retirement in 1973, the two moved to Andover, to enjoy the cultural wealth of Boston in their golden years.
Bette enjoyed a wide range of interests during her long life. Weaving was a great passion, and she honed her craft for over 50 years. She was especially gifted at creating colorful tapestries based upon their photographs of Greece. She was a charter member of the Rochester Weaving Guild, a group of master and amateur weavers and spinners. She later joined the Boston Weaving Guild and was awarded its Certificate of Achievement for Superior Performance. Her love of handcrafts was passed along to her daughters and granddaughters. Bette was equally passionate about the study of Western Civilization, especially Greek and Turkish culture, and always had a book on archaeology on hand. She and Bill made over 25 trips to Greece and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on the Island of Crete.
Bette and Bill were frequent sailors at the Brockport Yacht Club and spent many hours on Lake Ontario and Sodus Bay. Also during summers, Bette participated in the Brockport Summer Arts Festival as the personal assistant to the featured professional actor. Bette was an avid gardener, spending many happy hours tending her plants and flowers. Her grandfather, William J. Weir, was a professional golfer who emigrated from Scotland at the request of President William Howard Taft to teach him the game of golf. Following in the footsteps of her grandfather and then father, Bette was an avid golfer who frequently shot par. Throughout her life, Bette's sly sense of humor and sharp repartees made her a force to be reckoned with.
Bette Ruf is survived by her loving daughters, Elizabeth R. Field and her husband Kurt W. of Peoria, Ill., and Carolyn Ruf of Massachusetts; cherished granddaughters, Kimberleigh J. Field of Reno, Nev. and Robin E. Field of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., as well as several nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: In keeping with the Ruf family tradition, there will be a graveside gathering in Gorham, N.Y., in the summer. Memorial contributions may be made in Bette Ruf's memory to the Center for Archeological Studies, Boston University, 675 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Conte Funeral Home, 17 Third St., North Andover, MA 01845.
Created by: Smitty
Record added: Mar 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35200032