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Ruth Kish (née Rabin) passed away peacefully Friday, July 1, 2022 in her Boca Raton, Florida home. She was 87. Ruth is survived by her daughter Robin Kish-Judge (Thomas), son Matthew, brother Harry Rabin and granddaughters Jessica and Jaclyn Judge.
The retired elementary school teacher was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx where she lived near Yankee stadium with her brother and parents, Jack and Bertha. (She made it clear though that she was a New York Dodgers fan.) Ruth moved to Philadelphia in 1964 when she married her late husband and soulmate William “Bill” Kish. Bill and his wife “Ruther”, as he affectionately called her, were married for over 50 years.
Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College in New York City in 1955. She taught swimming and later worked as executive assistant to the late New York City cardiologist Dr. Arthur Master who invented the “Master TwoStep” exercise tolerance test for the diagnosis of heart disease, the precursor to the modern stress test. In her late twenties, Ruth met Bill while on a ski vacation in the Poconos and the two married in 1964. She began teaching third grade in the Philadelphia public school system but left when she became pregnant with her first child and her school principal refused to allow her to wear maternity clothes to work. Once her two children were older, she worked briefly as a substitute public school teacher.
Ruth was an avid reader. Since Bill drove the family’s only car to Westinghouse where he worked as a machinist, Ruth walked everywhere with her children in their Overbrook Park neighborhood. She visited the public library weekly, carrying heavy piles of carefully-selected books for her family in paper shopping bags. Despite losing sight in one eye late in life, she continued reading hardback books. She said if she didn’t enjoy the start of a book, she was happy to move on to another as it wasn’t required school reading.
An excellent home cook and baker, Ruth’s big family gatherings featured her made-from-scratch dinners, desserts and cakes. She was stylish, wise, accomplished and extremely practical. Exhibiting a can-do attitude combined with an independent spirit, Ruth spoke her mind and was always calm, cool and collected. When asked, she provided sage advice. She loved to travel, swim, knit sweaters and blankets, dance with Bill and listen to the couple’s extensive jazz record albums and recordings. She put her family first, taught her children to love themselves and gave them the skills and support to be successful and independent adults. Being a loving wife, dedicated mother and devoted grandmother were her highest priorities and greatest joys; she was exceptional in all three roles.
Donations in Ruth’s memory can be made to the donor’s charity of choice.
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