The Daily Star
---- — Ruth S. Searles
SAND HILL/UNADILLA — Ruth S. Searles, 98, of Sand Hill/Unadilla, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, Aug. 18, 2013, at the Chestnut Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oneonta. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
Ruth was born July 5, 1915, to Charles Edgar and Lotta Hammond Secor in Otego. She attended Otego schools and graduated in 1934.
She married Raymond Searles in 1936, and settled down to a happy life of farming, family, and community. She also worked for 25 years at Scintilla/Bendix/Amphenol Aerospace Corporation.
Ruth will be remembered as a wonderful, caring person whose door was always open to friends, as well as strangers who quickly became friends. She was a selfless person, spending countless hours making sleeping bags and quilts for the homeless.
She was known for hosting large, joyous family meals where she warmly welcomed any additional guests. Complete meals were packaged and sent out to anyone who couldn’t attend or those in need. And who could resist her famous rolls, dill pickles, dandelion greens and pies! No one could tell a story better or loved a hearty laugh more than Ruth. Holidays will truly never be the same without her!
As a gifted artisan, she created beautiful quilts, afghans, crocheted doilies, hooked rugs and other heirloom treasures. In addition she enjoyed tatting, stenciling, embroidering, and sewing. Ruth could refinish and cane furniture, garden/can/freeze her garden produce and even do lawn care until her vision declined in her 90s. She was passionate about living life to the fullest, while always thinking of how she could help others.
Ruth was an active member and promoter of community life in the Sand Hill area. She was the oldest member of the Sand Hill Methodist Church, which she joined in 1936, as well as the oldest native of Otego.
In addition, she was a member of the Jolly Nine, Wells Bridge Fireman’s Auxiliary, Home Bureau, United Methodist Women’s Society, Old Boy’s Club, WCTU, Wells Bridge Happy Times Senior Citizens, and 83 years in the Grange. Previously she had served as a 4-H leader, Sunday school superintendent, Sand Hill Church historian, Sand Hill Cemetery Association member, and Republican committeewoman.
Ruth is survived by her two loving daughters, Charlotte Cary and Raychel (Kurt) Henninger; grandchildren, Diane (Gary) Hanson, Ray (Stephanie) Cary, Taryn (Bill) Leverton, Brett Henninger, Trevor (Julianne) Henninger, and Lindsey Henninger; great-grandchildren, Kristi (Devin) Hanson Beck, Terri and Holli Hanson, Kyle and Morgan Cary, Jackson Henninger, Stephen and Parker Leverton; one great-great-grandson; and five great-great-granddaughters.
She is also survived by her devoted sister, Helen Secor Groves; and many beloved nieces, nephews and their families, all of who so loved “Aunt Ruth.”
Ruth was predeceased by her husband, Raymond, who she has missed for 28 years; and her brothers, Perry and Lynn Secor.
As Ruth’s health declined, the care she received from neighbors and friends was wonderful beyond measure and for which we are grateful. When Ruth’s needs went beyond home care we were fortunate to find a placement at Chestnut Park. We wish to thank all the staff for their kind, gentle, and loving care for Ruth the last 1 ½ years.
It is with her giving spirit that her final gift in life was to donate her body for research to Albany Medical College.
In memory of Ruth, there will be a “celebration of life” service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at the Sand Hill Methodist Church, followed by a luncheon at the Wells Bridge Fire Station.
Interment will be at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in her memory may be made to the Sand Hill Methodist Church at 127 Sand Hill Road, Unadilla, NY 13849, favorite charity of one’s choice or just spend some special moments with friends.