Ruth Marie (Schwarz) Bohrer(1927 - 2012)

Ruth Marie Schwarz was born in Hartford, CT, to John and Emma Schwarz on Jan. 15, 1927. She graduated from Rockville High School in 1945 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1949 from Mount Holyoke College for Women in South Hadley, Mass. In 1953, Ruth was awarded a Master of Science Education from University of Connecticut and later received her Certificate of Graduate Study from American International College in Springfield, MA. Ruth taught Science and Math at The Baird School in Orange, NJ, from 1949-1951 and Canton High School, Canton, CT, from 1952-1956.
In 1955, while attending summer school at Union College in Schenectady, NY, Ruth met Laurence Edwin Bohrer. They fell in love and married on June 29, 1956 in a lovely ceremony at Union Congregational Church in Rockville, CT., conducted by her brother, Jack (Rev. John T. Schwarz). Following their honeymoon, Ruth moved to Deerfield MA, where they shared their love of teaching: Larry at the Academy (for 43 years) and Ruth at Stoneleigh Prospect Hill for Girls.
In 1958, Larry and Ruth wanted a family and adopted David Laurence. In 1959, they got their girl, Sarah Jane. Several years later, the family made the decision to host foreign students through the Federation EIL (Experiment in International Living). Juanita Mason from Liberia, Africa, and Fausto Zeronmedina from Guadalajara, Mexico, became part of their extended family; it was, indeed, a wonderful life.
Ruth returned to her education roots in 1967 taking a part-time position at Frontier Regional High School in South Deerfield, MA. In that role, Ruth's work focused on improving student reading skills. In 1969, Ruth became a full-time teacher of special needs at Frontier until her retirement in 1992. Ruth leaves behind lifelong friends and colleagues from her work at Frontier and her life at Deerfield; devoted friends who, despite time and distance, never lost contact.
Ruth and Larry enjoyed their retirement years in Greenfield, MA, where they regularly hosted friends and family to their home at 171 Silver St. In her free time, Ruth enjoyed visiting friends, hosting company and nurturing relationships, both new and old. Ruth volunteered on committees at Second Congregational Church, fund-raised for the YMCA and dabbled in various community projects. Ruth will be best remembered for her joie de vivre, love of fellow man/woman, abiding faith, devoted loyalty, and unending optimism. Following Larry's death in 2004, Ruth moved to Uplands Retirement Village in Pleasant Hill, TN, to join her brother and sister-in-law, John T. (deceased) and Mary Schwarz. She found a loving, enriching and vital community at The Uplands. Ruth enjoyed penny-poker, trips to Nashville, local theatre, and volunteering at 'The Grab' and Blue Barn. Ruth was also active in the Pleasant Hill Community Church Projects. She joyfully called Uplands home.
Ruth was many things to many people. She was also a cancer survivor. In 1997, Ruth was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. Thanks to an experimental treatment at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and her inalienable spirit, Ruth recovered and embarked on a decade-plus journey to participate fully in the lives of everyone she touched. In the spring of 2010, Ruth was diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma. Ruth's journey did not end with a diagnosis. With energy and purpose Ruth went about her mission; she traveled a lot, attended weddings, funerals, graduations, piano recitals, choir concerts, ball games, and numerous holiday gatherings. Ruth was a courageous fighter and the Cumberland Mountain and Deerfield Valley will resonate with her spirit.
Survivors include son, David and his partner, Hilary Black, from Heath, MA; daughter, Sarah and son-in-law Jim from Libertyville, IL; loving grandchildren, George, William, and Henry Caldwell and Sarah Banks Hartshorne; sisters-in-law, Mary Schwarz from Uplands, Katie Smith from Oberlin, and brother-in-law, William Bohrer, of Norwalk, OH, numerous nieces, nephews, and their children, whom Ruth loved as her own!
A service to celebrate Ruth's life will be on Friday, Dec. 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the Pleasant Hill Community Church, Pleasant Hill, TN.
A second service is being planned at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Ruth's name to either Uplands Village ( or Pleasant Hill Community Church (
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Wharton Nursing Home and Cumberland County Hospice for their support in Ruth's final days.

Published in The Recorder on Dec. 12, 2012