Ruth Christine Hannay

WESTERLO — Ruth Christine Hannay of Westerlo, the founding librarian of the town’s library who was also very active in the First Baptist Church of Westerlo, died on Friday, July 5, 2019. She was 67.

“Ruth had a brilliant mind, and enjoyed all sorts of word games,” her family wrote in a tribute. “She was almost always able to come up with the answers on TV shows like Jeopardy before the on-air contestants. She served as an excellent proofreader not only for her church, but also for the family business, Hannay Reels.”

Valedictorian of her class at Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School, she earned her undergraduate degree in biology at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and her master-of-library-science degree in information science from the University at Albany.

Ms. Hannay worked at several libraries, most notably as the founding librarian of the Westerlo Town Library at its current location. She volunteered at the Free Clinic of the Capital City Rescue Mission, and served for many years as church clerk and librarian of the First Baptist Church of Westerlo.

She continued in the traditions of her grandmother Hazel Barber Hannay with her love for the church and missions — she communicated directly with the church’s missionaries as part of the Global Task Force. She also served the church as assistant director and registrar of the Vacation Bible School, as coordinator of the Pioneer Girls Clubs, and as treasurer of the MBI Guild.

“Ruth was a dear friend to many in Westerlo, providing rides and help to those in need,” her family wrote.


Ruth Christine Hannay is survived by her brother, David Hannay, and his wife, Ann, of Westerlo, and her sisters, Deborah Hannay VanDerMolen and her husband, Ed, of St. Charles, Illinois, and Sarah Hannay Schoof and her husband, Ron, of Bremerton, Washington. “She leaves behind 11 nieces and nephews who all loved their Aunt Ruthie,” her family wrote.

Her parents, George and Emma Rogers Hannay, died before her, as did her sister Loraine Adele Hannay, and her brother Roger Allen Hannay (Sherley).

A memorial service is being held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at the First Baptist Church in Westerlo at 618 Route 143 in Westerlo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, Post Office Box 130, Westerlo, NY 12193 or to the Capital City Rescue Mission, 259 South Pearl St., Albany, NY 12202.


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