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Ruth Lesly, a 57-year resident of Hastings-on-Hudson, died on June 1 at the age of 85. Ruth was the beloved wife of the late Joe Lesly, the loving father of Meredith and Mark Lesly, and grandmother to her cherished grandson, Jalen.
Ruth was born on September 22 (also the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins) in 1928, birth year of Mickey Mouse. She grew up in Stephentown, NY, as the third child of Mark and Pauline Lilienfeld. An excellent student, she raced through a one-room schoolhouse to graduate high school at 15, a BA at SUNY-Albany at 19, and her Master's Degree in Library Science from Columbia University. Ruth met Joe in the Poconos on a 4th of July weekend in 1954, and she kibitzed his bridge game in order to get to know him. As soon as she got home, she told her mother that she had met the man she was going to marry; five months later they were husband and wife.
Ruth touched countless people's lives in her 25 years working at the Hastings Library, first as part-time children's librarian, then the reference librarian, and finally as the Director for 17 years. She decided to retire early in 1986 to "play" with Joe, attending theater and concerts, visiting museums and traveling extensively both in the U.S. and abroad. Singing was a lifelong passion and she performed with several different groups, including Working Women Singing and the Hudson Valley Singers. An avid reader, she was a member of several book clubs and was particularly enamored with the works of Jane Austen. She made numerous charitable donations (including to the National Parkinson Foundation, NY Public Radio and Hadassah), and performed various charitable works (including teaching literacy and managing the Now and Again consignment shop).
A memorial will be held this Sunday, June 8 at 11:00 a.m. at the Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home, 64 Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ruth's memory to Friends of the Hastings-on-Hudson Library, 7 Maple Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 10706.
Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home, Inc.
64 Ashford Avenue
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Published in the lohud.com on June 6, 2014