Ruth Kurzweil, of Kew Gardens, died on April 28, 2009 at age 98. She was born Ruth Strizower in Biala Bilitz, Poland on April 8, 1911. At age three, she moved with her family to Vienna where - having no patience for school - she played hooky much of the time, taking walks in the surrounding hills, feeding the squirrels. Though her teacher asserted she had no talent for design, Ruth left school at age 14 to learn the trade of dressmaking and started earning money to support the family: her father Moses, a prominent member of the orthodox synagogue; her mother Martha, a talented coloratura soprano who performed in opera houses throughout Europe; and her sister Else, the studious one who stayed in school until she became a physician. By age 17, Ruth received a master of design and dressmaking.
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