Ruth Helen (Brauer) Balinski, 97, mother of Ridgefielder

Ruth Helen (Brauer) Balinski, 97, of Cromwell died peacefully in her home on July 31, 2017.

Born February 12, 1920 in East Berlin, Ruth grew up on her parent's farm in Cromwell. Prior to her marriage in 1940 to Walter Balinski, she worked as a housekeeper and nanny for veterinarian Dr. and Mrs. George Bitgood of Middletown.

Ruth and Walter lived in a tent on their property in Cromwell while building their home with the help of friends and family. They moved into their home on their first wedding anniversary. Ruth lived in that home which she loved until the day she died, which was always her wish.

While raising their three children, Ruth was active in community and church affairs. She was a Brownie leader and a Girl Scout leader. She served on Grace Lutheran Church’s Ladies Aide Society and was president of Valparaiso’s CT Chapter of the Valpo Guild. In later years, after retirement, she and Walter were volunteer counselors for AAL’s Retirement Readiness program.

When her oldest child Kathleen (Vescera) was in junior high she went to work at Raymond Engineering, making it possible for all three of her children to receive college degrees.

Ruth and Walter spent summer vacations in their Maine paradise — their little cabin on Dallas Hill, with a spectacular view of Rangeley Lakes. They loved their time there and generously shared their cabin with family and friends.

After retirement, winters were spent in New Port Richey, Fla.

Two of Ruth’s greatest passions were gardening and photography, as can be witnessed by the hundreds of photo albums and boxes of photos that she accumulated through the years — pictures of flowers and pictures of loved ones. She was dubbed the “family photographer,” always there with her camera in hand, ready to capture both the large and small moments in her immediate and extended families’ and friends’ lives.

Ruth was a true “angel of mercy” to many friends and relatives who were in need of a helping hand, a ride to a doctor’s appointment or a friendly visit. She took the time to visit shut-ins and nursing home patients. She brought with her a smile, a friendly word and often a bouquet of flowers from her garden. She listened to them and prayed with them.

Ruth had a strong Christian faith. She always knew she was a child of God and never wavered from her belief that she was saved by God’s grace.

Ruth lived a good and happy life. She was blessed on her life’s journey, gathering many friends along the way. She found joy in the little things that most of us don’t even notice.

Ruth was loved. She will be missed.

Ruth was predeceased by her parents, Julianna Haman and Edward Brauer, her husband Walter, her son-in-law Jerry Jarvis, four brothers, Gustaf, Otto, Eldort and Edward (Sonny) Brauer and sister Adeline Brauer.

She is survived by her daughter Kathleen and her husband Victor Vescera (currently of Ridgefield), daughter Elaine Jarvis and son Walter and his wife Cynthia, six grandchildren, including Melissa Jarvis (formerly of Ridgefield), Jonathan, Justin, Ashley, Adam and Alex and 21 great-grandchildren (including Aimee and Deanna Houston, formerly of Ridgefield). She is also survived by her sisters, Agnes Marchinkoski, Frances Rollish and Marion (Mary Ann) Duval and many nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.

A memorial service will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church, 50 Court Street, Cromwell, CT 06416 on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, and as an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to Bethany Lutheran Church.