Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen
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STEINKRAUS-COHEN-Ruth, 81. Of Westport, CT, and London, England, died peacefully on May 26, 2002, after a valiant fight against cancer. Beloved daughter of the late Herman and Gladys Tibbetts Steinkraus, and loving wife of the late attorney Herbert L. Cohen, Ruth is survived by her cherished sister Marjorie de Roquemaurel, of Paris, France, her devoted brother Bill, of Darien, CT, and her dear step-daughters MaryLou Weisman and Carol Becker. After attending Vassar, Mrs. SteinkrausCohen became an outstanding Juilliard-trained pianist and teacher. She was also a singer, editor, radio host, bibliophile, activist and multi-award winning ``Point of Light'' in the quest for global peace. In 1956, Ruth attended the World Federation of the United Nations Association (UNA) where she acted as secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt and developed a burning desire to serve as an advocate for the UN. Shortly thereafter she organized the UNA-CT and UNA of Southwestern CT and eventually became a National Board Member of UNA-USA and Vice President of UNA-UK, Westminster. After founding the International Hospitality Committee of Fairfield County and creating Westport's June Day celebration, for more than 40 years she spearheaded the effort to provide learning experiences for UN ambassadors, diplomats, staff members and their children by arranging for them to visit with American families in their homes. More than 50,000 individuals have participated in this program since it began in 1958. In 1987 Ruth became Editor-Publisher of the ``United Nations Calendar for Peace,'' which has been distributed globally, sometimes in translation. Ruth was co-founder and music chairman of the Friends of Music for almost 40 years and a co-founder and/or Board member of the New York Chamber Soloists, Performers of Connecticut, the Opera Company of Boston, Opera New England, Young Audiences of Connectict, and Westport's Art Advisory Committee, among many others. She was also a founding member and Secretary of the Hugo Grotius Society. Whether she was chatting in her book filled office, working with one of her many committees or playing chamber music in her music room, many were warmed by her unstinting generosity of spirit and the glow of her many talents. A private funeral service will be held for her immediate family, and a short memorial service will be conducted on June 8th (which would have been her 82nd birthday), at the Westport Town Hall Auditorium, from 10 to 11 AM. Donations to honor her memory and support the programs she helped create may be made to UNA of Southwestern Connecticut, Inc, c/o Attorney Greta E. Solomon, Cohen and Wolf, PC, PO Box 1821, Bridgeport, CT 06601.

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Published in New York Times on May 28, 2002.