Ruth Sarah Bell

Ruth Sarah Bell

Ruth Sarah Bell died peacefully surrounded by family on May 17, at home in Scottsdale Arizona, just six days after her 98th birthday. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School.

Ruth was the daughter of Rebecca and Louis Lefft. She was predeceased by her husband of over 40 years Simon, and brothers Hyman and Joseph.

Our mother was a remarkable woman in so many ways, always placing her love of family first, not only for her children, but also her grandchildren and great grandchildren. We were all the proverbial apple of her eye and could do no wrong.  As a proto-feminist, she encouraged her two daughters to seek careers in addition to motherhood through higher education which they did with great success. She took great delight in extolling our individual achievements and successes with her many friends. She had a great love of travel and a special fondness for Europe and India. On a cruise through the Greek isles after the death of her husband, she met and became close friends with a couple who subsequently invited her to stay with them in Hawaii, which she did. As a widower she decided to fulfill her long time desire to get a job at Tiffany’s flagship store in NYC although she had been fortunate enough to have never worked outside the home. With family encouragement, she went for an interview, and was offered a sales position on the main floor. She maintained her position until she decided to relocate to Scottsdale, Arizona with her youngest daughter and her husband. Our mother was an accomplished artist of still lifes, an excellent cook and baker, and an avid knitter who provided special, unique afghans for the birth of each and every grandchild and great grandchild. She could not refuse special requests for sweaters, scarves and other knitted apparel.

Ruth is survived by her three children, Stephen (Sandy) of Saint Louis, Margaret (Peter) of Seattle, and Jane (Jay) of Scottsdale. In addition, she is survived by her ten grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren who will all miss her dearly. A graveside ceremony was held at Wellwood Cemetery on Long Island, NY, officiated by Rabbi Levi Gurkov.

Contributions may be made to Traditional Congregation of Saint Louis.