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Ruth M. Beck


Ruth M. Beck, a longtime resident of New Hope-Solebury, Pennsylvania, passed away at age 95 on Friday, May 10th, 2024, surrounded by her loving family.

Ruth was born in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania on February 18, 1929. She was the daughter of William and Martha Herd. She was the youngest of four. Her brothers William, John, and Walter Herd served in the U.S. Army during WWII.

Ruth met her husband, James Flory Beck (Jim aka Doc Beck) through their neighboring towns’ United Methodist Church youth groups. Jim was leading the service while Ruth played the piano. Through her love of Church, Ruth transitioned from being a Pianist to a Church Organist. She was part of a jazz band in her hometown where they played at Saylor’s Lake, Pennsylvania.

Ruth and Jim married in 1950. They started their lives together at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Jim eventually earned the rank of Gunnery Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and Ruth was a Court Reporter for the U.S. Navy. Ruth shared fond memories of their time there.

In 1956 Ruth and Jim moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania where they started their family. With full support from her husband, in a time when not many women went to college, Ruth attended Rider University and earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. She joined Jim as a teacher at New Hope-Solebury (NH-S) High School and together they became the Business Education Department, side by side. Ruth and Jim started the school’s FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) program where they guided hundreds of students to learn business leadership skills. She was also the advisor for the school cheerleaders for many years. If there was ever a time when students needed a chaperone they could count on either Ruth and Jim to help them out. Ruth taught Business Ed at NH-S until her retirement in 1993. Amongst many other activities, Jim wrote and Ruth typed for the New Hope Gazette for decades. The two of them were truly a team, in every aspect of life.

Ruth and Jim were locally renowned for playing Santa and Mrs. Claus, most notably at NH-S Breakfast with Santa, for almost 50 years. This event and seeing all the excitement of the kids and the town brought so much joy to them and their family.

Ruth remained a devoted member of The Solebury United Methodist Church as well as the Church Organist from 1958-2020. She stepped down as the organist at the age of 91.

After Jim’s passing in 2002, Ruth and daughter Jamie lived together for 22 years and became an inseparable pair. Ruth’s hobbies were reading, playing her clavinova, going to the Jersey Shore, computer games, and watching mystery movies. Because her dad’s relatives were expert quarrymen recruited from Cornwall England to work in the slate quarries of Bangor and Pen Argyl, PA, Ruth and Jamie had an affinity for all things British.

Ruth is survived by her daughters Joanne Cathy Lance and her husband Vic Lance of New Hope, Wendy J. Brambley of Richland, WA and Jamie Ruth Beck of New Hope; her grandchildren Rebecca Lance, Victor Lance and his wife Tisa, Michael Brambley, Josiah Lance, Victoria Lance, James Brambley and Matthew Brambley; her great-grandchildren Hailey Brambley, Aubrey Brambley, Ryan Guzy, Carley Brambley, Juliet Lance, Isabel Lance, Victor Lance and Zoey Lance; her extended family of nieces and nephews, and the many lives she touched including her friends, colleagues, students, church family and neighbors.

Ruth has been the epitome of a family Matriarch. Unitedly, Ruth’s family feels deeply blessed to have had her as their mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt. She lived a wonderful 95 years.

“It’s not the length of time we remain in this present human sphere that is important, it is what we do with that time.”

Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 17, 2024 at 11 am at the Van Horn-McDonough Funeral Home, 21 York Street, Lambertville, New Jersey 08530.

Interment will follow at Thompson Memorial Church Cemetery, 1680 Aquetong Road, New Hope, PA 18938.

There will be calling hours at the funeral home on Thursday evening from 6 to 8 pm and on Friday morning from 10 am until the start of services.

Donations in Ruth’s memory may be made to the Solebury United Methodist Church, 2536 Aquetong Road, New Hope, PA 18938.

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