June 22, 1937 - September 11, 2021
Ruth Ann (Salme) Austin of Pittsfield, MA passed peacefully on Saturday, September 11, 2021. She was born in Worcester, MA on June 22, 1937 to the late Stanley A. and the late Esther C. (Aho) Salme. Ruth graduated North High School and Worcester Memorial Hospital Nursing School as a Registered Nurse. While a student nurse, she met the love of her life, a medical student, and married on June 13, 1959 in Wesley United Methodist Church, Worcester. She is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Dr. Frederick Lowell Austin, Jr. and devoted daughters, Rebecca L. Thacker (Jeffrey) of Cary, NC, Laurel J. of Pittsfield, Melissa Haddick (David) of Berkeley, CA, Susan B. Kirk (Jeffrey) of Melbourne, FL, and “adopted” daughter, Katya Merrill (James) of Niskayuna, NY; grandchildren, Lindsey, Zachary, Seth, William, Benjamin, Gabrielle, Jackson, Brandon, Natalie, Austin, and Julian; three great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends. She was pre-deceased by her sister, Susan D. (Salme) Keith, and a grandson, Austin Thacker. She raised her children as a dedicated Navy Officer’s wife on Naval bases across the country meeting many lifelong friends along the way before returning to her beloved New England and settling down in Pittsfield to be closer to family. Ruth had a natural sense of service to others and was a pillar of the community, volunteering and serving as president of the Hillcrest Hospital Women’s Medical Auxiliary, and as an active member of South Congregational Church, Pittsfield, for 47 years, serving on numerous boards including May H. Mattoon Women’s Group. Her proudest contributions were serving for many years as Lay Leader Deacon, singing alto in the choir, as a bell ringer with Chancel Bell Group, and serving faithfully the community meals in St. Joseph’s Kitchen. She enjoyed participating in activities with the Springside Garden Club, Girl Scout and Brownie troops, but her greatest pleasure was to play piano at the church, Berkshire Place, and for Celia Conuel’s dance studio in Dalton. Music lifted her soul and family was always at the center of her life. She is known for keeping a home filled with laughter and for always sharing photos of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the American Heart Association or South Congregational Church. Calling hours for friends and family will be held on Friday, September 17, 2021 at Dwyer Wellington Funeral Home, East Street, Pittsfield, from 2:00-4:00pm followed by a Christian service led by the Reverend Joel Huntington at 4:00pm. To best ensure everybody's health, due to the recent rise in Covid cases, all who attend this service are required to wear face masks. A private burial will be held at Rural Cemetery in Worcester.
Ruth Ann (Salme) Austin of Pittsfield, MA passed peacefully on Saturday, September 11, 2021. She was born in Worcester, MA on June 22, 1937 to the late Stanley A. and the late Esther C. (Aho) Salme. Ruth graduated North High School and Worcester... View Obituary & Service Information
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