Mary Ruth Reitz, 81, of Laurelbrooke Landing, passed away at Brookville Hospital on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012.
She was born May 31, 1931, at Cloverdale Farm in Stanton, Pa., the youngest child of the late Harry Webster and Jessie Ruth (Brosius) Reitz.
She never married.
After graduating from Brookville High School and Grove City College with an associate degree, Mary Ruth worked as a secretary/bookkeeper at Brookville Equipment; as a secretary to Milton Eisenhower, president of Penn State; and as a secretary for James Hysong, superintendent of Brookville Area Joint Schools.
She then graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. and taught in the business department at Brookville Area Schools for one semester.
At the suggestion of her brother Jack, she served as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Her expertise in accounting enabled her to audit existing accounts, to establish bookkeeping systems as needed, and to teach missionaries and Congolese how to keep accurate financial records.
She returned to the United States and worked in accounting for the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, and later for the World Council of Churches, until her retirement.
As a resident of New York City’s Upper West Side for more than 40 years, Mary Ruth took advantage of the many concerts, operas, theater performances, museums and parks that the city has to offer.
She eagerly shared those experiences with any family and friends who would visit her.
A person of deep faith, she was actively involved in many ministries of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church, mentoring, nurturing and supporting young people. She was passionate about political and social action.
The highlight of her return to Brookville had been the opportunity to spend more time with family and get to know the newest members. She had particularly enjoyed sharing the fountain at Laurelbrooke Landing with visitors.
She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Doris Thrush of Brookville and Margaret Reitz, Suffolk, Va.; numerous nieces and nephews, Lucy (Fred) Holben, Donna Nolder, Max (Jenny) Nolder, Tom (Linda) Nolder, Don (Sue Ann) Nolder, Pam Reitz (Jim Barnett), Ruth (Bill) Ford, Ross (Jessica) Reitz, Dawn Williams, Randy Reitz, Sue (Robert) Taylor, Harry (Camille) Reitz, Janet (David) Rimm, Brenda (Bunk) Beatty; and numerous great- and great-great-nieces and nephews.
She was always pleased to say that more than 75 people called her Aunt Mary.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Betty Nolder; three brothers, Robert Reitz, Jack Reitz and Ross Reitz; and three nephews, Paul Nolder, Barry Nolder and David Reitz.
A memorial service will be held today at Zion United Methodist Church, 2-½ miles north of Brookville on Route 36, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Ray Baker officiating.
Arrangements are under the direction of the McKinney Funeral Home, Brookville.
Memorial contributions can be made to: Zion United Methodist Church, 8668 Route 949, Sigel, PA 15860; St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 263 West 86th St., New York, NY 10024; or West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) 263 West 86th St., New York, NY 10024.