Ruth Elizabeth Rogers, 82, passed away at her home in Los Altos Hills. She was born in Wilkensburg, Pennsylvania to the late Dorothy and Eugene Allbert. Fraternal twin sister, Roberta followed 15 minutes later joining older sister Margaret to complete the Allbert family. Ruth spent the first 12 years of her life in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania before moving to Buffalo, New York. While recovering from an appendectomy at age 11, she started piano lessons. This began her lifelong passion for music.
Ruth attended Bennet High School in Buffalo. She was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, the Bennetants club, the National Honor Society and the school choir. She was also active in her church, The Delevan Avenue Baptist Church.
Ruth attended Buffalo State College and graduated in three years in 1956 with her BS in teaching. She was a member of the Alpha Sigma Pi and Kappa Delta Pi sororities. Ruth met and began dating her future husband, Roy Lee Rogers, when he came to Buffalo in 1955 for a summer internship at Westinghouse. Realizing that Roy was committed to living in California, independently minded Ruth moved across the country to California along with two of her friends in 1956. At the same time, Roy was chosen for a Fulbright Scholarship and agreeing it was an opportunity that should not be passed up, he accepted with Ruth’s blessing and moved to The Netherlands for a year. Ruth spent her first year in California exploring and teaching fourth grade at Benjamin Bubb Elementary School in Mountain View and falling in love with the area that would become her home for the remainder of her life.
Ruth and Roy married on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1957. Ruth continued teaching until her first child, Phyllis, was born in 1960. Son David followed in 1962. In addition to raising her children, Ruth was actively involved with her church teaching Sunday school, leading the boys choir and singing in the adult choir. She also learned to play both the guitar and the organ, as well as, tennis which became a source of exercise and friendships for decades.
In 1979, Ruth enrolled at San Jose State and Foothill College to take specialized music courses. Unhappy about the state’s school funding cuts to music and arts, in 1981 Ruth started a Kodaly vocal music program at Benjamin Bubb Elementary School. Over time, she enlisted her musical teaching friends and expanded the program to all eight of the Mountain View elementary schools. It was Ruth’s joy to bring music back to the schools and to return to teaching and to work with the children. She retired from teaching in 2002 after transferring the program to the Community School of Music and Arts. CSMA expanded the award winning program, now called Music4Schools, to 30 elementary schools on the Peninsula serving 12,000 children.
Ruth was an active philanthropist; serving on the Boards of the Community School of Music and Arts, Hope Unlimited and Opportunity International’s Board of Governors. She was also a passionate advocate for Fuller Seminary, the LymeLight Foundation, New Door Ventures, Cityteam’s House of Grace, Royal Family Kids Camp and Mt Hermon Christian Conference Center. Ruth was especially drawn to organizations that serve children including Menlo Church, where she taught a 4th grade Sunday school class until her debilitating strokes in December of 2013.
Although, Ruth and Roy shared a love of travel and journeyed throughout the world, Ruth’s favorite place was Kiahuna on Kauai where she and her family vacationed for over 40 years. Ruth was at her happiest while spending time with family, particularly her five grandchildren. Ruth will be remembered for her vibrancy, compassion and commitment to making the world a better place.
Ruth is survived by her husband Roy of 59 years and her sisters, Margaret Clarke of Littleton, CO and Roberta Dayer of Buffalo, NY (husband Roger Dayer), her daughter Phyllis Bedford of Hillsborough, CA (husband Scott Bedford), son David Rogers of Los Altos Hills, CA (wife Monique Rogers) and grandchildren Sarah and Becca Bedford and Conrad, Roxanne and Trevor Rogers.
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, October 13th at 2PM at Menlo Church, 950 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025. A reception will immediately follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ruth’s honor to Community School of Music and Arts- Music4Schools, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040 or Menlo Church- Children’s Ministries, 950 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025.