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Ruth Leach Amonette

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Ruth Leach Amonette, age 87, died in Carmel on June 21. A native of Oakland, she was born September 24, 1916 and has lived locally since 1969. A graduate of Piedmont High School, Mrs. Amonette received her BA Degree in Political Science, Class of 1937, from UC Berkeley where she became a life-member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Mrs. Amonette joined IBM Corp. in 1938 working as a machine demonstrator at the San Francisco World's Fair of 1939. Continuing her rise in the company, in 1941, she was promoted to Systems Service Manager, supervising the hiring and training of hundreds of college women for systems service work to replace those men who had gone to war from IBM's 122 sales office. In 1943, she was elected Corporate Vice-President by the board of IBM, one of the youngest vice-presidents (barely 27) in the country and the first woman corporate vice-president of IBM. Mrs. Amonette was honored by Mademoiselle Magazine as Woman of the Year in the field of business in 1945; given the National Women's Press Club Achievement Award in 1946; received the first Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Achievement Award in 1946; appointed as a "Berkeley Fellow" in 1988 and was elected to the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1996. Additionally, she was a Trustee Emeritus of Community Hospital; served on the boards of Monterey Peninsula United Way, Monterey County Symphony Association; Monterey Institute of International Studies (including four years as Chairman); Pebble Beach-Del Monte Forest Foundation and was a member and past president of the Carmel by-the-Sea Garden Club. In 1999, she published her memoirs, "Among Equals". Mrs. Amonette resigned from IBM in 1953 when she married Walter W. Pollock, Jr. Following his death in 1956, she married Wilbur K. Amonette who preceded her in death in 1999. She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Pollock Scimone, of Murphys and her sister, Helen Hurst, of Carmichael. A Celebration of Her Life will take place at The Paul Mortuary Chapel on Monday, June 28 at 1:00 PM. Contributions are suggested to the Monterey Institute of International Studies, 460 Pierce St., Monterey, 93942.
Published in The Monterey Herald on June 26, 2004
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