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Ruth Levin


1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Ruth Levin Obituary
Ruth Levin - - local hero, active community member, and believer in peace, justice, political activism, and her Jewish heritage, died at age ninety, Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at her Shaftsbury home. It was a beautiful autumn day, with the windows open, her Cat, Shaina, and daughters present.

Ruth was born April 17, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky.

In 1950, with her then husband, Ruth founded Ed Levin Jewelry where they lived and worked on the Upper West Side, NYC. She also worked at the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Brooklyn. Ruth and Ed traveled by bus throughout New England to colleges to sell jewelry. Intrigued by Vermont, in 1953, they bought a house in Shaftsbury, and established a business on their property, where they sold jewelry as well as Ed's pottery, sculpture, and paintings. In 1966, Vermont Life Magazine profiled Levin Jewelry and family with an article and photographs by Clemens Kalisher.

In 1963, both Ruth and Ed wanted to board the bus from Bennington to the March on Washington to protest the Vietnam War. They agreed to wager, Ruth won, and went to protest, pregnant with their third child.

After her divorce in the late 1960's, life for Ruth was all about her children: Rachel Levin, Flo Levin, and Alexander Levin, as well as community, community service, and anything she could do to create a better world for her children and all children. Ruth loved Vermont and considered herself a proud Vermonter.

Ruth studied writing, became a short story writer and wrote stories which appeared in Redbook, the Jewish Currents Reader, other publications, and local history that was published in the Bennington Banner. She was also an avid letter writer constantly sending cards to friends, family, and others she did not even know whom she felt compelled to demonstrate her support.

Ruth was a founding member of the Shaftsbury Historical Society and was a faithful board member for over forty-five years. She is the author of the book, Ordinary Heroes, the only published history of the town of Shaftsbury. April 13, 2014, the Shaftsbury Historical Society declared its first Ordinary Heroes Day, honoring Ruth as its first Hero. The Vermont Legislative Resolution, H.C.R. 226, honored Ruth for her community service, by Senator Sears and Hartwell, and Representative Miller, long time neighbor, and was enacted by the General Assembly.

Generous in her concern for others, with no expectation of anything in return is the manner in which Ruth lived, until the day she died. She was a dedicated citizen of Shaftsbury and the greater Bennington community. She devoted countless hours to community organizations, including the former Bennington League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, and political campaigns. Her commitment to citizenship, voting, and equality are evident in how she lived.

Burial in the Jewish tradition will take place in Lexington, KY. She will be buried next to other family members. Ruth is survived by her three children, her sister, Annette Mayer, Lexington, KY; her brother, Jerry Perlmutter, Indialantic, Florida, along with many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Ruth's life will take place in the North Bennington area soon, details forthcoming.

Contributions in Ruth's memory may be made at the celebration or sent to: Shaftsbury Historical Society, Post Office Box 401, Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Sept. 20, 2017
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