Ruthanna Walter passed away February 3, 2013 at her home in Erie. She had recently moved there after being a resident of North East for 63 years. She was born in Wilmington, Ohio on August 31, 1922, to Hallie Mae Warnock and Dr. Harry Hull Vannorsdall. She was pre-deceased by her husband of 60 years, Ralph Eugene Walter. She is survived by her children, Peggy Walter Norris (and her husband, Joe Suplicki) of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, Rhoda Walter (and her partner, Birch Berman) of Winthrop, Washington, and Stephen Walter of Spartansburg, and by her grandchildren Janessa and Daniel Walter and Andrew and Elizabeth Norris and by a sister-in-law, Evelyn Meyers and by daughter-in-law Salena Walter of Erie. She graduated from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio in 1944 and went on to Western Reserve University School of Library Science in Cleveland where she earned her Master's degree in 1945. From 1945 through 1948 she was a librarian, serving on a bookmobile and at an elementary school at Oak Ridge, Tenn., a community built for Manhattan Project workers. While there she enjoyed hiking in the Smoky Mountains, a place she had first visited with her parents, and was a member of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. At the Gatlinburg, Tennessee Methodist Episcopal Church, on June 6, 1948, she married Ralph, whom she had met at Ohio Northern University. After a sojourn in Massachusetts, they moved to the Erie area where Ralph was an electrical engineer at General Electric. Ralph and Ruthanna liked to camp, cross country ski, canoe, and mountain hike in their younger days. Ruthanna worked at the E. C. Davis Elementary School library in North East for nine years. She was very interested in the history of North East and gathered information and documents, which are filed at the McCord Memorial Library in North East. She was a member of Park United Methodist Church and taught 2nd grade Sunday School and was a long-time member of the Sunday Evening Class. Ruthanna will be remembered for her lively interest in the arts, particularly architecture and music, her love of reading, her interest in botany, people, antiques, and history, and her adventuresome spirit, as well as her enduring commitment to her family. Friends may call at the William D. Elkin Funeral Home, 65 South Lake Street, North East on Friday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and are invited to attend a funeral service on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Officiating Rev. Dr. Mark Hecht. Private interment North East Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the McCord Memorial Library (32 W. Main St., North East, PA 16428). Donors may designate that contributions be used for the purchase of memorial books or for the endowment fund. Please send condolences to www.elkinfh.com.
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 6, 2013