Ruth M. Van Dyk, 90, departed this life after a brief illness on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Born on Long Island to the late Arthur Lasher and Pearl Storck, Ruth spent the bulk of her years in the Capital District. Upon graduation in 1949 from St John’s Academy of Rensselaer, Ruth forfeited a full college scholarship as valedictorian of her class to marry her beloved late husband of 67 years, Branson Van Dyk. Together, they raised three daughters: Kristina (the late Stephen) White of Merrimack, NH, Ellen (David) Doak of Wake Forest, NC, and Judith (the late John) Hehir of Slingerlands. “NimNim” gratefully watched her family grow to include seven grandchildren, one of whom predeceased her, and five great grandchildren—with a sixth on the way.
Ruth was predeceased by Hilda Garcia Lasher, who raised her after the death of her young mother, and Rosemarie Garcia, a fellow preschooler and friend who became her younger sister when Arthur married Hilda. In addition to her daughters, grandchildren and greats, Ruth leaves behind her youngest sister and flower girl, Martha Lasher Warner of East Greenbush, and her little brother, Richard (Barbara) Lasher of Cocoa, Florida, as well as nieces and nephews and greats.
Devoted primarily to her family, Ruth worked part-time outside the home as a preschool aide at Loudonville Christian School. Along with Branson, she was an active member of Loudonville Community Church, serving decades in various capacities. Known for her smile and hospitality, Ruth welcomed anyone into “the Van Dyk Hotel” and served many a stranger at her dinner table. As a great lover of books and a natural teacher, she spent many hours volunteering in the church library and “retired” from teaching Sunday School only when she turned 80. In recent years, while attending Hope United Methodist Church, she still lit up and came to life when interacting with young children as opportunities to do so presented themselves.
After losing Branson in 2016, Ruth continued to set her lifelong example of good attitude and gratitude. She was ever committed to learning life’s difficult lessons and living out of a genuine faith. She was no nonsense, the real McCoy. Little talk, much action.
A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held Monday, January 10, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at the Morris – Stebbins – Miner & Sanvidge Funeral Home, 312 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY 12180, with the Reverend David Martin of Hope United Methodist Church, Eagle Mills, officiating. Friends and family are invited to call one hour prior, beginning at 12 noon. Interment will be at Memory Gardens in Colonie.
Please view the Livestream of the service at the family provided Zoom link
The family wishes to thank The Terrace staff (both past and present) of Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center and the angels of mercy at St Peter’s Hospice Inn. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ruth’s memory may be made to Hope United Methodist Church, in care of the funeral home, or to Community Hospice.
The arrangements are under the direction of the Morris – Stebbins – Miner & Sanvidge Funeral Home, 312 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY 12180. Phone: 518-272-5802.
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