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Ruth Abrams

ITHACA - Ruth Claire Abrams, a longtime resident of Ithaca, NY, died peacefully Sunday, October 26th, at the age of 91, after a long illness. She was born March 11, 1917 in New York City, the daughter of Murray and Beatrice Gaynes. A graduate of the senior high school in Long Branch, NJ, and of the Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City, she was also, for a number of years, a student at the Harvard Extension School.
In 1937 she was married to M.H. (Mike) Abrams who was then teaching in the English Department at Harvard University. During the Second World War she served as secretary-treasurer of the Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory at Harvard, where her husband was conducting research for the armed forces. In 1945 she moved to Ithaca, where Mike had been appointed a Professor of English at Cornell.
In addition to being a devoted mother of two daughters, Ruth continued her studies of fine arts at Cornell. She was a co-founder, and for many years, a director of the Upstairs Gallery in Ithaca, a nonprofit organization where she helped supervise many major exhibits. She was a notably expert swimmer and diver, a frequent hiker in local parks and nature preserves, and a lover of all animals. Ruth was well known in Ithaca as a gracious and enthusiastic hostess, both at home and at many outdoor gatherings in local parks. She traveled extensively with her husband and (when they were young) with her two daughters in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North Africa.
In addition to her husband of 71 years; she is survived by her daughters, Jane Brennan (Ed Brennan) of Westport, CT, and Judy Abrams (Sherman Kelly) of Trumansburg, NY. Ruth is also survived by her sister, Sue Weinberg of Springfield, NJ; her grandchildren, Sarah and Ben Brennan; by Alexa Lehoczki and Kati Brennan (Ed's daughters); by a great-grandson, Miles; and by several nieces and their children.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Rainy Day Fund of Kendal at Ithaca. On Saturday, November 29th, a memorial service will be held at Kendal at a time to be announced.

Published in Ithaca Journal from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, 2008
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