Ruth Epstein, 87, of Deal died May 26, 2012. She was raised in Greensburg, Pa., and had lived in Manhattan before moving to the Shore area in 1955.
Mrs. Epstein had been the executive director of the Jewish Community Center, Deal Park, where she oversaw major membership and building expansion, and also worked at the Jewish Community Center of Western Monmouth County, Manalapan. Upon her retirement in 1990, she was honored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg for her leadership and sound fiscal management, and by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. for her dedication.
She earned her BA and MS at the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as president of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority.
She also had taught high school English, French, and elocution in Derry Township, Pa., mentoring the first African-American student who won the Pennsylvania statewide elocution competition. She later worked for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and then led the lecture bureau of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
She served as president of the local chapter of the Association of American University Women, as an officer of the AAUW state board, and as chair of the AAUW public lecture series at Monmouth University. She was also active in organizations such as Hadassah, Planned Parenthood, and Citizens Against Water Pollution. She was an active class parent, Cub Scout den mother, and Girl Scout leader.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Seymour; two daughters, Nadine Epstein of Washington, DC, and Marcy Epstein of Ann Arbor, Mich.; two sons, Donald of Ocean and Michael of Santa Monica, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.
Services were held May 29 with arrangements by Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels, Ocean.