Floral 02

Ruth Fink Kerr

August 12, 2021

Obituary

Schenectady

Ruth Kerr

Ruth Fink Kerr, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and dear friend, died peacefully on August 12 at Kingsway Nursing Center in Schenectady, NY.  She was 100 years old.

Ruth was born in New York City on December 29, 1920 to Dr. Charles C. Mook and Ruth Mook.  The second of three children, Ruth was raised in Metuchen, NJ along with her two sisters.  Always an avid student, Ruth skipped the third grade in elementary school and graduated early from Metuchen high school in 1936.  She entered Skidmore College at the age of 16, receiving a BSN in 1941.   Her days at Skidmore were some of the happiest of her life.  While there, she met Eugene Fink whom she married in 1942.  After living in Albany a few years, she and Gene moved to Niskayuna, NY, raising four children there.  After Gene died in 1973, Ruth married Donald Kerr in 1977, a member of her church.  Ruth and Don were kindred spirits, traveling the world over to every continent except Australia.

Ruth was a warm, caring person who enjoyed the companionship of her family and friends.  She was the pillar of her family, hosting endless dinners and celebratory events both in Niskayuna and the family camp at Canada Lake, NY.  Nothing was better than a large family barbeque on the dock.  In her later years, she treasured time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren never missing an opportunity to listen to their activities, interests and attending their events whenever possible. True to her spirit, she always encouraged them in their education and accomplishments.

Ruth had a deep commitment to social and progressive causes.  Ruth was active in the work of Planned Parenthood, League of Women Voters, and the American Red Cross blood drives.  She was a Girl Scout leader for many years, helping girls with the requirements for their badges and sponsoring many outdoor adventures.  She was active in many organizations in support of Niskayuna Public Schools. Ruth was an avid gardener and in her later years especially enjoyed observing the rose garden at Central Park in Schenectady as well as the tulip festival in Albany.

Ruth worked as a nurse at Albany Medical Center, St. Clare’s Hospital and Nathan Littauer Hospital.

A member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Schenectady since 1953, Ruth truly lived the principles and values of her faith, espousing an open mind and open heart.  She also was the first woman president of the congregation. 

Ruth was a lifelong member of the Schenectady Curling Club and one of the first women curlers in that organization.  She and her husband Gene sponsored many youth activities in the sport. She was also a member of the United States Women’s Curling Association and played in regional competitions including those in Canada. 

Ruth was never one to shirk responsibility and would rise up to challenging occasions with gentle strength and compassion.   She taught her children to face adversity with grace and persistence.  In her last days, which were made difficult by the isolation of Covid, she remained steadfast and determined to make the best that she could.  We will greatly miss Ruth’s love, generosity and guidance.

Ruth was predeceased by her first husband Eugene Fink in 1973 and her second husband, Donald Kerr in 2014, her two sisters and her son, Fred C. Fink.  She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Nancy F. Myers, Lincoln, NE, sons David (Sue) Fink, Clifton Park, NY, and Rick (Kathy) Fink, Prosper Texas, step-daughter Katy (Paul) Gillespie, Dennison, MN, step-sons Don (Cynde) Kerr, Bay Village, Ohio and Doug (Joan) Kerr, Saratoga, NY.  Grandchildren: Chrissy Haase, Rotterdam, NY, Bryan (Katie) Fink, Hanover, MA, Jessica (Darin) Blair, Omaha, NE, Renee Myers, Omaha, NE, Vanya Fink, Prosper, TX, Nikki Fink, Prosper, TX, Michael (Susan) Marston, Moraga, CA, Chris C. Kerr, Saratoga, NY, Vanessa Kerr, Cleveland, Ohio and Chris D. Kerr, Toronto, Canada, eight great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. 

The family would like to thank the staff of Kingsway Nursing Center and the Terrace Glen Eddy, for their excellent and loving care of Ruth.

In lieu of flowers, Ruth requested that donations be made to Planned Parenthood of Schenectady, NY, Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, or Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady.

Arrangements are by Cannon Funeral Home, 2020 Central Avenue, Colonie. To leave a condolence for the family, please visit www.cannonfuneral.com.

 

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