ARKPORT-RuthAnna Smith, 94, of 8 Park Ave., Arkport, NY, passed peacefully Friday morning (March 26, 2021), following a brief illness.
Born in Milo Center, NY, on August 18, 1926, she was the daughter of Harry & Ruth (Bement) Tuttle. She had resided in the Watkins Glen area and was a graduate of Watkins Glen High School. She was introduced to the love of her life, Bernard Smith, by her best friend and his sister, Rita Smith. As a result, she resided in the Arkport Area since 1949.
RuthAnna had been employed as a teller for Security Trust Company of Arkport for about 9 ½ years. She then began a career that she loved, spanning 20 years with the Steuben County Department of Social Services in several capacities, including Social Welfare Examiner and Senior Social Welfare Examiner, retiring in 1992 as a Fraud Investigator. The notorious “RAS” was a great partner to the last, and always remembered her “snoop sisters” fondly.
She was a communicant of St. Ann’s Church and was a former member of the St. Ann’s School Mother’s Club. She was the first school crossing guard (of course she was!) for the Village of Arkport (early 1950’s) and was a long-time member of the Arkport American Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary. RuthAnna had a love of all animals but especially enjoyed her miniature horses, traveling to various fairs and horse shows with her son, Bernie, to show her Rose. She often came home with many ribbons!
Enviably, RuthAnna had the ability to always see the best in everyone. She long has been a staple of the Arkport community in her pink house on Park Avenue, with gorgeous flowers that abounded from every nook and cranny. Each year her tuberous begonias were incomparable, and her hanging baskets were marvelous; the hummingbirds knew hers was the best perch in town.
RuthAnna found the greatest joy in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who endlessly made her giggle and laugh. The sign in her living room that read, “What happens at Grandma’s never happened,” was certainly true and those kids enjoyed ice cream for breakfast, playing in her jewelry, drawing on her giant chalkboard in the playroom, and having her sit on the sidelines for their contests and events; especially mat side at wrestling matches. She was always their biggest fan. She celebrated every success and helped them overcome the deepest of downfalls with a reassuring pat, positive attitude, and a plan. They each know she loves them, “a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” Always a class act, she was perfectly coiffed at every moment primarily in pink; hair and nails done, lipstick on, and dressed to the “9’s.” RuthAnna’s sense of style, undeniable sparkle, wit, and love of a good laugh will be difficult to live without.
RuthAnna was married on November 16, 1946, to Bernard Smith, Sr., who died January 18, 2011. She was also preceded in death by her brothers, Robert Tuttle, Harry Tuttle, Herbert Tuttle, and Charles Tuttle; her sister, Ellen Voorhees; two grandsons, Patrick Smith, and Adam Kronk; and her dearest friend, Pearl White.
Surviving are two sons, Bernard “Bernie” (Cathy) Smith of Arkport and Bryan Smith (Nancy Berry) of Arkport; one daughter, Bernita Fajardo of Aylett, VA; two sisters, Norma Jean “Jeanie” Payne and Frances Secord; three brothers, Jack Tuttle, James Tuttle and Harold Tuttle; five grandchildren, Brenda Smith (Dave Davis), Bradley Smith (Claire), Jillian Smith, Jamie Burdett Stamey (Silas), Ashley Outten; ten great-grandchildren, Ellison, Lane, Aaron, Elizabeth, Anna, Sarah, Emmalynn, Norah, Madison and Josie; several nieces & nephews; special friend Patricia White; and her beloved cat, Uno.
At RuthAnna’s request there will be no calling hours. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:00AM at St. Ann’s Church. Final interment will be in Heritage Hill Cemetery, Arkport, NY.
Memorial contributions in RuthAnna’s name may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.
To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com.