May 20, 1935 – March 3, 2022
Ruth Sass passed away peacefully on March 3, 2022, in Charleston, South Carolina.
Friends and family will lovingly remember her creative spirit, her amazing memory, her love of gardening, her eye for interior design, and her passion for traveling.
Ruth was a staunch supporter of Artpark & Company.
Secretary Vincent Agnello said, “I first met Ruth Sass in the fall of 2004. She vetted me as part of the nominating committee to serve on the Artpark & Company board of directors. She became my friend and mentor, as she did with many others.
“Ruth Sass was connected to Artpark from its inception, and it was her life’s passion. While many people helped develop Artpark’s national reputation of excellence, no one can match Ruth’s long-term commitment to improving it. While many now see it as a local treasure, she continued to see its potential to regain its national prominence in the arts.
“As a mentor, she taught me to always reach for the sky. I recall her telling me that, when the board sought donations locally, she traveled to NYC to get major corporations such as AT&T to make donations to Artpark. Ruth was instrumental in developing the gift shop building for Artpark from its original concept to its design and construction. If every significant institution had a gift shop, so should Artpark.
“She will be missed, but we are grateful for the legacy she leaves behind.”
The past few years had been hard on Ruth, as she deeply missed her husband of 63 years. After William O. Sass (Bill) passed in 2017, Ruth focused on her family.
She is survived by her three children and five grandsons: Debbie and Fred Nelson (Chris and Turner), Cindy Sass and Craig Minsky (Cole), and Chris and Jinny Sass (Henry and Jefferson).
Ruth and her husband, Bill, had the good fortune of seeing many places across the globe. To her, travel was important since these experiences bring understanding of other cultures – which she believed could help eliminate prejudice and injustice. She encouraged all to travel!
Ruth loved people and devoted her life to helping others. A passionate person, she was always willing to get involved and help. Ruth was never afraid to speak her mind.
Sometimes outspoken but always good-hearted, Ruth’s legacy is measured by all the lives she impacted. She led her life in the words of Henry David Thoreau: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
She always marched to her own drummer. Ruth shared a love of music and art with her loving husband, Bill. They spent much time together attending Buffalo Philharmonic concerts and strolling through the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. However, Ruth’s true passion was dedicated to Artpark in her hometown of Lewiston. She was perhaps the organization’s biggest advocate and fundraiser during its early years. Ruth served on the Artpark board and enthusiastically designed and opened the venue’s gift shop.
Ruth loved ladybugs. These small colorful insects represent good luck, trust, abundance, wishes fulfilled and vibrant living – all tenants of Ruth’s core beliefs.
In Ruth’s memory, please make donations to The Ruth and William O. Sass Scholarship Fund at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Foundation (621 Tenth St., Niagara Falls) to support the next generation of health care professionals.