- Published on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:00
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier
Ruth McKim Moor, a resident of Palo Alto, California, died on June 4, 2010.
Born March 31, l915 in New Haven, Connecticut, she and her sister Clare grew up in Cincinnati. Their father, Judson McKim, was an author, a radio broadcaster, a director on non-profit boards and the regional head of the YMCA. The YWCA addressed issues of world peace and, during the depression, the development of job opportunities for unemployed college graduates. This social consciousness became one of her lifelong passions. After receiving her B.A. degree from DePauw University in Indiana and her M.S. degree in library science from Columbia University in New York, she began her life long commitment to community service. She did this work in partnership with the love of her life, Arthur D. Moor (1913- 2002), whom she met while at Columbia and married in 1941.
Art was a planning executive for United Airlines and was stationed at most of United's hubs. After New York they moved to Chicago, to Denver and, in l952 to Los Altos. Even with two young children Ruth found time for volunteer interests. She chaired the committee that created the Friends of the Library and drove the passage of multiple bond issues to expand the Los Altos library system. She was instrumental in the growth of the local Girl Scouts, the construction of El Camino Hospital and the expansion of the League of Women Voters. When Art was transferred back to Chicago she dove right into projects in her new town, Barrington, Illinois (1963-1986). She was named "Citizen of the Year" in l975 and l978 for her roles in establishing a 911 system, blood banks, paramedic services, and an umbrella coordinating council for six separate village boards, four counties, and multiple school and fire districts. This latter project took enormous political skill as well as more than five years of full time volunteer work. The unflagging efforts of her many recruited volunteers enabled them to make fundamental changes. She and Art hosted dinners at their home to advance their political and social efforts. She felt a good party could reconcile severe differences. Her efforts resulted in lasting legacies for all of the communities in which she lived and served.
When Art retired in l973, Ruth had lived in seven different states, some more than once. Whatever her location her foundation was always her family. When Art was promoted and they relocated to Chicago from Los Altos, despite their love for California she did not question the move. It was a new adventure. They remained in Barrington until l986, when five days without power and temperatures of 10 below zero convinced them that they should move closer to their children and grandchildren, who just happened to live in considerably warmer Palo Alto. In Palo Alto she and Art became regulars at all their grandson's sporting events. They became experts in scoring and cheering at baseball, football, soccer, basketball, roller hockey and ice hockey games. If it was raining during a game, they happily huddled under umbrellas! Ruth's unflagging sense of humor made those cold, windy and wet games fun. During this time, she nourished her love of literature and poetry by taking classes at Foothill College. The family continues to be entertained by the poems she wrote while trying to keep up with her college homework at age 75!
She is survived by her son, David Moor, of Menlo Park, her daughter, Barbara Moor Sanner and son-in-law, Robert Sanner, of Palo Alto, and her three grandchildren: Daniel Sanner, who with his wife, Kimberly Sanner, will soon move to Hong Kong, Richard Sanner of San Francisco, and Timothy Sanner, of Austin, Texas. There will be no local services.
Graveside services will be held in Greensburg, Indiana. In l931, Art received a college scholarship that enabled him to leave his faltering family farm and attend college. Throughout his life he was deeply grateful for that life-changing opportunity. In 2002 Ruth, Art and the Greensburg community established a college scholarship program for students from Greensburg High School. Each year scholarship awards are given to a group of graduating high school seniors. These scholarships, along with other awards, help students who otherwise might not be able to attend college. For those wishing to make gifts in Ruth's memory, please contact The Moor Family Scholarship Fund, South Decatur Dollars for Scholars, MainSource Bank, 201 North Broadway, P.O. Box 87, Greensburg, Indiana, 47270. Services entrusted to Roller Hapgood & Tinney Funeral Home. www.rollerhapgoodtinney.com