Ruth Margaret Lavely
March 12, 1924 – November 6, 2021
Ruth, age 97, of Orlando, FL, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
Ruth is survived by her daughters Cassandra Snapp, Claudia Rilea (Scott) and Christine Martin (Thomas); her grandchildren Hillary Snapp (Ron O’Brien), John Snapp, Ryan Rilea, Alex Rilea (Carina), Carol McDermott (Russell), Michael Buccino and Elyse Buccino; and her great grandchildren Antionette Ruth O’Brien and Lennox O’Brien (Hillary and Ron); Mykaela Worden, Jeffery Worden and Elena McDermott (Carol); Luke Buccino and Lydia Buccino (Michael).
The only child of Julia Straub and John Jendrziewski, Ruth was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Johnstown High School in 1942 and worked as a secretary until she married Albert Charles Lavely in 1946. Ruth moved to Orlando in 1967. She worked as a secretary for Orlando Helicopter Airways for several years before accepting a position at the City of Orlando Parks and Recreation Division. Ruth retired from the city in 1996.
Albert was in the United States Air Force and served our country for 30 years. His military service opened the world for Ruth, giving her the opportunity to live in France and Germany, and travel throughout Europe experiencing its cultural heritage firsthand.
Ruth loved being a military wife and was well suited for the life! She was brave, independent, and self-sufficient, packing up her household and three daughters every three years to move to a new duty station and serving as a single parent for 6 months at a time while her husband was on temporary duty away. Ruth was a magnificent role model for her daughters, instilling in them the confidence to be just as self-reliant as she was.
Many of the timesaving, modern-day conveniences we rely on today were not yet a reality for this young mother. It is a wonder Ruth could make the time and had the energy to take us to music lessons and to dance class, to be our Girl Scout leader, and to hand make every costume for dance recitals and Halloween. As children, she was our mother. As parents, we were in awe of this incredible woman.
Like so many women of her time, Ruth did not have the opportunity to attend college. She recognized the importance of women getting a college education and encouraged each of her daughters to seek a degree. Ruth did so much to make that possible. She cared for her grandchildren if they got sick so her daughters didn’t miss class and babysat so they could study. She did laundry, cooked meals, and ran errands. Ruth’s support and generosity knew no bounds. Such a precious gift to be given and her daughters’ gratitude is beyond measure.
One of Ruth’s greatest joys were her grandchildren. She was undaunted having all seven of them at her house at the same time. Grandma’s house meant pool parties, cookouts, slumber parties, staying up late and ice cream. Ruth’s home created treasured memories and a love that lasted her lifetime and carries on in her grandchildren.
Ruth was an active member of the Conway Garden Club for many years. When the Club disbanded in 2002 and the Club property was sold, Ruth was instrumental in establishing the Conway Garden Club Endowed Professorship Fund at the University of Central Florida. The Conway Garden Club Endowed Professorship supports a professor of biology in the College of Sciences at the University of Central Florida.
As Senior Warden at St. Mary of the Angels, Ruth served as chairman of the Vestry, the church’s governing board, and was a member of St. Monica’s Guild and of The Order of the Daughters of the King. Ruth was a devout Christian and lived her life guided by the Daughters’ Motto . . .
For His Sake . . .
I am but one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do.
What I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.
Lord, what will you have me do?
Ruth’s church family was a constant source of love and support. During the last few years of her life, when she could no longer attend service in person, Ruth was provided communion in her home. Additionally, acts of love such as gift baskets on every holiday, birthday cards and notes to simply remind her that she was loved and always in their thoughts provided Ruth with the love and peace of the Lord.
We mourn her loss deeply, but she lived a life worth celebrating! We would be honored if you could join in doing so. Ruth’s memorial service will be held at St. Mary of the Angels Episcopal Church at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 4, 2021, with a gathering immediately following in the social hall.
Arrangements entrusted to CAREY HAND COLONIAL FUNERAL HOME
2811 Curry Ford Road
Orlando, FL 32806
St. Mary of the Angels Episcopal Church
6316 Matchett Road
Orlando, FL 32809
Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 2 p.m.
Please join us in the social hall immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Mary’s General Fund would be greatly appreciated.