Florence Ruth (Klein) Hoyt

Florence Ruth (Klein) Hoyt, 97, of Paul Smiths, daughter of Florence and Henry Klein of Homestead, Pennsylvania, passed away on May 1, 2014.

She passed as gently and graciously as she lived. The memories of her beauty inside and outside will remain in the hearts and thoughts of many Paul Smith’s College alumni, friends and family. Ruth was a very special person; she accomplished many things that were unusual for a woman of her era.

Born in East Brady, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 2, 1916, Ruth graduated at the top of her small rural high school and went on to obtain both a Bachelor of Science in social studies in 1938 and a Master of Science in education in 1940 from the University of Pennsylvania.

She served during World War II as a Navy WAVE specialist, teaching pilots in the simulators. She received the Victory medal and the American Campaign medal. After the war, Ruth completed her education at Syracuse University and took courses in women’s studies, which is also where her love story began.

Ruth and Gould were set up on a blind date. They were both house parents, and the boys in Gould’s house told him he had to meet the beautiful house mother of the girls’ house. The students from both houses set up the date that never ended. Gould counted himself as the luckiest man in the world for having won Ruth’s hand in marriage on Aug. 28, 1948.

Ruth and Gould moved to Keese’s Mill Road in Paul Smiths during the early 1950s, where they resided for 60 years. Ruth taught at Paul Smith’s College in the 1950s and again in 1977. Ruth helped and supported Gould in many endeavors, such as the building of the Forestry Club cabin, the construction of the new church building (at that time) across from the Presbyterian Church on Keese’s Mill Road, and of course the restoration of the famous Paul Smith’s stagecoach.

Gould and Ruth were well traveled, stopping to visit with many alumni during their trips. It always seemed important for them to keep in touch with their Paul Smith’s College alumni “children.” Ruth was instrumental in starting the college museum and keeping the historical artifacts from the Paul Smith’s Hotel, Lydia Martin Smith and legendary hotelier Paul Smith safe. Ruth was also an accomplished piano and organ player. She played for the Presbyterian churches both on Keese’s Mill Road and in Saranac Lake, of which she was a devoted member.

In Ruth’s spare time, she raised two wonderful and well-loved children, Jane Hannah Hoyt Baloras of Miami, and Edward Henry Hoyt of Paul Smiths. Ruth leaves behind a sister Joanne Klein, daughter Jane, son Edward, nephew Keith Balla, and many other nieces and nephews.

With a large alumni family and friends, she will be greatly missed.

There will be a graveside ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 8 at St. John’s in the Wilderness in Paul Smiths, with coffee and tea to follow. A memorial remembrance will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake on June 15, following mass for anyone who cannot make the graveside ceremony.