Ruth Beach

Ruth G. Beach

1919 - 2018

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Obituary of Ruth G. Beach

Ruth Giles Beach passed away July 26 at Hospicare & Palliative Care Services in Ithaca, NY. She was 98 years old.


Born in Cherry Valley, NY, her family lived in Daytona Beach, FL in the 1920s for 3 years before returning to Cherry Valley. Ruth attended college at Eastern Tennessee State College in Johnson City, majoring in music. 


Ruth worked for Clark Music Company in Syracuse, then moved to Schenectady during World War II to work at General Electric. She married Merton L. Beach in 1946. After Mert died in 1974, she became house director at Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Syracuse University, where she remained for 22 years. She continued to be on the sorority board until her death.


Ruth was a devoted communicant of St. Andrew’s Church in The Valley since 1947, serving in many capacities. She will be remembered for a ready smile, serial Boston terriers (all named ‘Muggsy’), and her year-round miniature Christmas village. She was an avid bridge player, bowler, and line dancer. Committed to Syracuse University sports, Ruth gave up her season’s ticket only in her mid-90s. To support the athletes, she never left a game before the final buzzer, no matter how painfully lopsided the score. She enjoyed scotch and martinis. An extra-dry martini, straight up with a twist, was one of the last pleasures she enjoyed at Hospicare thanks to the rapid and kind assistance of the staff of Northside Wine & Spirits in Ithaca.


Ruth was predeceased by her husband; her parents, Merritt and Celestia Giles; and siblings Isabella, Mabel, Eunice and George. She leaves her son, Jim (Sue) Beach of Rural Hall, NC; daughter, Bonni Voiland of Ithaca; grandsons, Nathan (Mary) Beach of Fredonia, NY and Jason (Elizabeth) Beach of San Diego, CA; and granddaughter, Doria Voiland (Ryan) Ruthven of Hoboken, NJ; six adored great-grandchildren; and many loved nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Andrew's Anglican Church, meeting at 6140 S. Salina St. (Nedrow Wesleyan Church). Donations may be made to St. Andrew’s or to Hospicare, 172 E. King Rd, Ithaca NY 14850, whose staff are exceptional.


Please visit the online memorial at


Memorial Service

10:30 am
Saturday, October 20, 2018
St. Andrew's Anglican Church
Meeting at Nedrow Wesleyan Church, 6140 S. Salina Street
Nedrow, New York, United States