Born Ruth Neary along with her twin sister Margaret Neary in Passaic, NJ, Jan. 20, 1913 to parents Marian Aldous Neary and Edward Henry Neary. They were predeceased by a brother Edward Henry Neary III. The Neary family moved to Port Washington because their father obtained a job as a lawyer with Wysong and Wysong. The family became active members of St. Stephens Church.
Margaret and Ruth attended high school at Main Street School but as seniors in 1930 they graduated from the new high school on the boulevard which later became the junior high school. Ruth went on to study to be a dietician at the NYS Agricultural School in Canton, NY, rooming with her sister Margaret who attended St. Lawrence University. For financial reasons Ruth had to leave after one year. She then attended night school to learn typing and shorthand.
Her first job was with Wysong and Wysong earning $15 per week. In 1945 she went to work for Frank B. Smith & Son, then Paul A. Nielson as typist, then secretary. Later she worked at the Community Synagogue, beginning as secretary to Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz before the synagogue moved to its present location. She worked there nine years until a move to Stony Brook in 1964.
In Stony Brook she became a member of All Souls Episcopal Church serving as treasurer and as a member of the Bishop's Committee. She pursued hobbies of knitting, needlepoint and ceramics. For a time she was an Avon salesperson.
The Knox School in St. James hired her as academic secretary. She enjoyed helping students with their college applications and with love and appreciation the senior class of 1985 dedicated the yearbook, Roseleaves, to her.
One year was spent in Drexel Hill, PA, where she was secretary at the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. She enjoyed entertaining, having small dinner parties for every special occasion. Annual yard sales were big events with breakfast, lunch and dinner served to all participants, followed by a large gathering for dinner. One of the highlights of her life was the gala dinner party held by her friends at the Three Village Inn for the 80th birthday of Margaret and Ruth.
Although her vision and hearing became poor she remained active with the help of aides in the last few years spending her days shopping, visiting friends and completing crossword puzzles. She is missed at the Brook House where she had breakfast every day for many years.
After a brief illness, she died Dec. 27, 2003 at St. Catherine's Hospital in Smithtown. At her request the Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home made funeral arrangements the same as for her twin sister Margaret who died in 1994. A religious service was held at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church presided over by the Rev. W. Kurt von Roeschlaub and the Rev. Keving von Gonton. Following the burial with her sister at Nassau Knolls there was a celebration of her life at Finn McCools's.
She is survived by a daughter, Ruth Beutenmuller Huff and son-in-law Weston Warren Huff of York, PA; her grandson Weston Warren Huff Jr. and wife Tammy of Merrimac, MA; her granddaughter, Jennifer Huff Robinson and husband Tony of Hanover, PA; and her great-grandchildren, Shawn A. Huff, Lindsay Huff, Toni Robinson, Andrew W. Robinson and Sophia Robinson.
Carmela Faiella, a long time resident of Port Washington, died on Jan. 29, 2004 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Carmela was a graduate of Prospect Heights High School, where she graduated valedictorian of her class. Her major accomplishment in her life, however, was in her role as wife and mother. She is survived by her beloved husband of 53 years of marriage, Peter; four daughters: Teresa Murphy (Joseph), Amy Taylor (Frank), Rosemary Faiella and Francine Jackson (Chris). She is also survived by her grandchildren (in birth order), Amanda Taylor, PJ Murphy, Phillip Bonelli, Brian Murphy, Ashley Taylor, Kimberly Bonelli, Peter Bonelli, CJ Jackson and Melanie Rose Jackson. All were recently together in Florida to celebrate the holidays and her 75th birthday. In addition, she is survived by her dear sister, Teresa Alleva and brother Anthony DeVita. Her deceased siblings are Mary Lacognata, Frances Padavano, Michael DeVita and Peter DeVita. The family received friends at Park Funeral Chapels, Garden City Park. The family requests in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in her name to Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33407 or National Parkinson Foundation Bob Hope Parkinson's Research Center, 1501 NW 9th Ave., Bob Hope Rd., Miami, FL 33736-1494 (305)547-6666 or 800-327-4545.
George Koch, formerly of Central Islip, died on Jan. 30, 2004 at the Presbyterian Residence in Woodbury of complications resulting from Alzheimer's disease. George was born in 1937 in Hollis, Queens, moved to Central Islip in the 1950s. At age 17, he started work as a stevedore (longshoreman) in NYC with his father. He would eventually work as a longshoreman for 42 years, a member of the International Longshoreman's Association.
In 1957, George married Frances Rosemary Plouffe of Marlboro, MA. For many years George and Fran lived in Central Islip where George served for 14 years as a volunteer fireman in the Central Islip Fire Dept. They moved to New Jersey in the mid-'80s.
"George loved to drive the fire truck," said Charlie Murphy, a fellow volunteer fireman from Central Islip. "He was always the first one on the truck," His brother Donald remembered, "Being a volunteer fireman meant a lot to George. He loved the fellowship, the parades and drills, and was proud to serve the community."
George was predeceased by his wife Fran, who passed away in 1993 and his brother Robert Koch, who died in 2003. He is survived by a brother Donald Koch of Manhasset; a nephew Ronald Koch of Bridgewater, NJ; and four nieces, Karen Jones of Palm Bay, FL, Norene Koch of Colorado Springs, CO, Lauren and Leslie Koch of Manhattan.
A memorial service was held on Feb. 7 at the Austin F. Knowles Funeral Home, Port Washington. Interment Nassau Knolls Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Central Islip Volunteer Fire Dept.