Bettman was prominent philanthropist, advocate

Ruth R. Bettman

Robert A. Cohn Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Ruth R. Bettman, a leading philanthropist and advocate for education and other causes in the Jewish and general communities, died Tuesday, Sept. 28, a month after reaching her 100th birthday. Mrs. Bettman died of natural causes at her Clayton home, according to her family.

Born Ruth Therese Rothschild on Aug. 21, 1910, to Irene and Sidney Rothschild, Mrs. Bettman was a graduate of Mary Institute (now MICDS). She married prominent businessman Irwin Bettman Jr. in 1930. He died in 1978.

Among many other honors, Mrs. Bettman was named a Woman of Achievement by the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in 1958, in recognition of her leadership in various community projects and activities.

Mrs. Bettman served on a variety of local boards, including the Family and Children’s Service Agency from 1956-1973, the board and executive committee of St. Louis Children’s Hospital for 12 years, and as chair of the St. Louis Child Welfare Advisory Committee. In recognition of her expertise and commitment to child welfare, she was named to the advisory committee of the Juvenile Court of St. Louis in 1958.

After learning that abandoned babies and children were sent to City Hospital, she helped arrange for the Board of Children’s Guardians to take control, and she personally saw to it that abandoned children were immediately placed in safe foster homes. Her other community activities included serving on the board of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Red Cross, the St. Louis Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and the St. Louis Scholarship Foundation. She was a longtime member of Temple Israel.

Survivors include three daughters, Irene Zivi and Emily Mayer, both of Los Angeles, and Suzy Seldin of St. Louis; nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

A private funeral service was held last Friday at the New Mount Sinai Cemetery and Mausoleum. The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, 8215 Clayton Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63117; or the S I. Rothschild Medical Library at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 1 Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza, St. Louis, Mo. 63110.