Ruth was born on June 21, 1911, the first of five children born to Marion Helen Gomon Hackett and William George Hackett of Fulton. Her four brothers and sisters predeceased her.
Ruth went to Fulton schools and then attended the Oswego Normal School where she trained to become an elementary school teacher. She first taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Ira, N.Y. in 1930. For most of her career she taught third grade at Erie Street School in Fulton, retiring in 1969 after teaching for more than 30 years.
Ruth married Henry W. Kitney of Fulton in 1934. They were married for 57 years, until Henry’s death in 1991. Ruth and Henry had three children, Brian (Sharon), Bruce (Karen) and Barbara (Larry) Terpening. Ruth was proud to count 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren in her large and beloved family. Her grandchildren include: Kim Blake, Maureen Tetro, Todd Terpening, Jill Cali, Ryan Terpening, Allyson Becker, Elizabeth Kitney, Katherine Kitney-Hayes, Brian Kitney, Kelly Kitney, Sheri Finnigan and Krystal Kitney.
Ruth and Henry enjoyed travel and were fortunate to visit many parts of the United States. They traveled several times to Europe and even took a tour of Iceland.
Ruth was a talented artist, floral arranger and seamstress. She gave sewing lessons for years and was well known for the beautiful quilts she made for family and friends. Over the years she made many quilts for the Lee Memorial Hospital Ladies Auxiliary Cracker Barrel Fair and she and other members of the Bessie Rich Circle of the State Street United Methodist Church made more than 100 hand-pieced quilts to sell in the annual Church Rummage Sales.
Ruth’s faith was strong and abiding. She was a member of the State Street United Methodist Church for over 65 years. She was also a member of the Fulton Decorator Club, the Arrowhead Garden Club, the Fulton Women’s Club, the Retired Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, and was a founding board member of the Oswego County Visually Impaired Group. Although she lost her sight more than 20 years ago she very much enjoyed listening to books on tape and discussing them at the Visually Impaired Book Club.
In 2012, at age 101, Ruth wrote and published a book-length memoir about her life in Fulton. She dedicated her book to “Everyone who has loved me as an infant, a child and an adult. I treasure my memories of you.” All those who knew Ruth will truly treasure their memories of her.
A funeral service was held Tuesday, February 17 at State Street United Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton. Spring burial will be at Mt. Adnah Cemetery. Calling hours were Monday, February 16 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Contributions may be made to the State Street United Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton, 13069 or to the Oswego County Visually Impaired Group, c/o Ms. Laura Smith, President, 100 Rochester St., Apt. 1104, Fulton, 13069.