Pittsfield- Ruth E. Strickhart, 100 of Pittsfield, passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, January 7, 2021. She was born on March 5, 1920.
Ruth was a trailblazer. In the late 1950s, when women were expected to be stay-at-home wives, she took the bold move of starting night courses at what was then Paterson State College wiih the goal of being a becoming a teacher. She persevered, and in 1962 earned her NJ Elementary School degree. She was hired by the Waldwick Public School system, and proudly taught third grade for 30 years at the Waldwick Crescent School. In that time, she attained an additional two Masters degrees in Elementary Education. She and her husband Fred were members of the Waldwick Methodist Church and were avid members of that church’s choir and Couples Club. Upon her retirement in 1992, she became a tireless volunteer worker at the Valley Hospital’s Kurth Cottage and the Waldwick Public Library. Her passion was singing and traveling, and as a member of the Ridgewood Singers, she toured the world performing for the likes of the Vatican cardinals and British royalty. At the age 86, she moved to Pittsfield to live with her son and daughter-in-law. There, she became a member of the Pittsfield Congregational Church, and continued her volunteering, serving on the staffs of the Pittsfield Historical Society, the Pittsfield Food Bank, and the Josiah Carpenter Library. In 2011 she received the Joseph D. Vaughn Award for outstanding leadership and achievement as a volunteer on behalf of older citizens in Merrimack, NH, the Pittsfield Community Impact Award in 2013, and was chosen as Pittsfield’s Citizen of the Year in 2014. Ruth continued to volunteer until she was 99 years old.
Besides her parents, Ruth was predeceased by her husband Frederick C. Strickhart. She is survived by two sons, Frederick (Rick) Strickhart of Old Saybrook, CT and Paul Strickhart and his wife Gladys of Pittsfield; grandchildren Tricia Massey of Dallas, GA and Heather Dunagin of Pittsfield; and three great grandchildren, Joy Parra of Tulsa, OK, Lily Dunagin of Dover and Thomas Dunagin of Pittsfield.
A memorial service is being planned for the late spring at the Pittsfield Congregational Church. The Still Oaks Funeral and Memorial Home in Epsom is serving the family with arrangements. Donations in Ruth’s memory may be made to the Pittsfield Food Pantry, P.O. Box 3, Pittsfield, NH 03263. To share a memory of offer a condolence, please visit www.stilloaks.com.
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