Ruth Harriet Miller Jacobs Ph.D.
15 noviembre , 1924 – 5 septiembre , 2013
JACOBS, Ruth Harriet Jacobs (Miller), Ph.D. – of Wellesley, died on September 5, 2013, age 88.
Ruth Harriet Jacobs, Ph.D. was a gerontologist, sociologist, educator, poet, and author of nine books. She had many years of teaching experience and provided continuing education courses for professionals. In addition, she held workshops throughout the US and abroad, and for 20 years was a researcher at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.
Dr. Jacobs’ books include: Be An Outrageous Older Woman, Women Who Touched My Life: A Memoir, We Speak for Peace: An Anthology (as editor), Older Women Surviving and Thriving: A Manual For Group Leaders, Button, Button, Who Has the Button?: A Drama About Women’s Lives Today, Out of Their Mouths, Life After Youth: Female, Forty What Next?, ABC’s for Seniors: Successful Aging Wisdom from an Outrageous Gerontologist , and Re-engagement in Later Life: Re-employment and Remarriage.
While raising her family, Dr. Jacobs received her B.S. at age 40 from Boston University and her Ph.D. at age 45 from Brandeis University. She was a sociology professor for 13 years at Boston University before going to Clark University in 1982 as chair of the sociology department. After retiring from Clark University, Dr. Jacobs taught regularly at Regis College, Springfield College School of Human Services, and in the Life Long Learning Program at Brandeis University.
She was the recipient of grants and awards to pursue aging studies from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the United States Department of Education, the Stone Center, the Southport Institute for Policy Analysis and many other institutions. In 1993 she received the Pioneer Award of the New England Sociology Association and has also received the Distinguished Gerontologist Award from the University of Massachusetts. Over the years she served as a consultant to several government and voluntary agencies, including the AARP’s National Task Force on Aging and Mental Health.
Dr. Jacobs contributed chapters to many scholarly books, poems to many poetry anthologies and magazines, and numerous articles to academic journals. She wrote a popular monthly column for the award winning Senior Times newspaper and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Women & Aging. She had residencies at eight major art colonies. An online showcase of her work is intended by her children to be created during this month of September at www.RuthHarrietJacobs.com. Please check this internet address from time to time for initial content and for additions of text, audio, and video.
She has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the College of William and Mary (1990) and a Research Scholar at the Five Colleges Women’s Studies Research Center at Mount Holyoke College (1992). In 1998 she received the Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring for her book Women Who Touched My Life. An audio recording of Dr. Jacobs discussing “Older Women as Mentors” is available at http://www.wcwonline.org/Audio-Archive-2009/ruth-harriet-jacobs-older-women-as-mentors. She was a tenured full professor at both Boston University and Clark University. She keynoted major conferences and did extensive group work with older women.
She was a reporter and feature writer for the Boston Herald-Traveler newspaper for eight years in the 1940’s. Among those she interviewed during their visits to Boston were Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt. For a video oral history about her time as a journalist, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2OLJsVl5qk.
Ruth is survived by her daughter Edith and her son Eli.
Shiva will be at the home of Edith Jacobs on Monday, September 9 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A memorial gathering will be held at the Wellesley Friends Meeting House, 26 Benvenue St., Wellesley, MA, on Saturday, October 5th at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to The Ruth Harriet Jacobs Scholarship fund at Regis College, which was established in her name to benefit LLARC (Lifelong Learning at Regis College) students who could not afford to attend lifelong learning courses; LLARC, Regis College, 235 Wellesley Street, Box 3, Weston, MA 02493.
- Memorial Service
Ruth Harriet Miller Jacobs Ph.D.
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22 noviembre, 2013 20:10:10
Ruth Jacobs was my Sociology professor at Boston University. She made me feel so special when she asked me to critique her class after reading one of my writing assignments. She belived in me. This has stayed with me all these years.
I know she impacted many more. God bless the Jacobs family and know that Ruth Jacobs legacy lives on. She is in my heart.
30 septiembre, 2013 18:41:24
when we were Ph.d studebts at Brandeis, two "older women" defying the stereotype of women of a certain age,Our renowned Professor, Everett Hughes, could never tell if I was Fran or Ruth, and if Ruth was Fran. Ruth wrote a poem about this, one of her many insightful poems about life, women,and history.I have kept, in a large box, all the letters, articles, poems that this creative woman wrote throughout her life. We were close friends for over 40 years, making sure to connect with phone calls, never, later through email, because Ruth wouldn't use this new instrument. Instead was her voice,on the phone,(never past 7 p.m.) and visits where we continued to share ideas and experiences.I will miss her forever.
christie Stiegman Jacobs
24 septiembre, 2013 14:35:04
In the 1970's, I was a teaching fellow at Boston University in Sociology and was inspired by Ruth Jacobs. She served as a model of compassionate strength for me.So know that her spirit continues to live on in those she touched.
19 septiembre, 2013 14:15:36
Dear Ruth, You have given so much to so many people, inspired and led and loved. You had a wonderful heart and accomplished so much good. We will miss you greatly in our Wayland Poetry Group where your poems and your comments, your mere presence, were so helpful and inspiring.
18 septiembre, 2013 23:30:04
Ruth was an amazing woman. She inspired me when I was an undergraduate at Boston University to continue my studies as a sociologist. I thought I was "old" in my mid-20s but Ruther set me straight. She continued to support me and pointed me to Brandeis for graduate studies. A feminist and a humanist, she used her voice to mentors countless students and women to find their voices and to live their lives fully. While I am so sad to know of her passing, I know that her legacy lives on in so many ways. Please know how grateful I am for her guidance and role modeling.
Elizabeth (Liz) Markson
16 septiembre, 2013 15:51:56
Ruth was my colleague, friend, and fellow sociologist. We shared many years of friendship--going back to her days at Boston University (where I also was on the faculty), her activity with the MA Sociological Association,numerous workshops, shared times, and the list goes on. She contributed to at least one book that the late Beth Hess and I edited and always brought her distinct and imaginative viewpoint. We remained good friends (albeit not meeting as much as we should have) as we both grew older. I had the privilege of helping her deal with some of her later physical challenges. Always generous of spirit, she will be sorely missed. Indeed a woman for all seasons.
16 septiembre, 2013 14:26:22
Dear Edith and Eli,
I am deeply saddened to hear that your mother has died. She was a dear friend.
She touched my life in many ways - as a colleague at Regis and a “sister” Brandeis
sociologist before that. Ruth was definitely one of a kind. She had a way of caring and
looking out for me in my personal and professional life, which I always appreciated.
Her expertise at turning obstacles into challenges and moving on, without complaint
or regret are things she taught me how to do years ago.
I am sure your loving care helped your mother get through the difficult and trying days,
and keep up her stamina and determination to live her life as an outrageous older woman,
even in spite of illness. Your mother was also a special mentor to many people. We will
all miss her.
15 septiembre, 2013 22:56:46
I was saddened to learn of the loss of your mother. She was an inspiration in the depth of her capacity to enjoy life. I will remember her wit, kindness, and humor. The lovely newspaper piece captured her many achievements and contributions so nicely. You were luck to have had her as your mother, and she was lucky to have had you as her daughter and caregiver. My thoughts are with you during this difficulty time, Edith.
14 septiembre, 2013 18:12:45
As a BU sociology student in 1978, I was privileged to have Ruth as my professor and mentor, and later worked as her teaching assistant. Ruth was inspirational then, with words that I carry with me still. My condolences to her family. Sara Romer (Needham, MA)
14 septiembre, 2013 10:16:44
Ruth was such an inspiration, always graceful, full of life, wit, and wisdom, open and welcoming to everyone. She will be greatly missed.
12 septiembre, 2013 19:49:33
I met Ruth just 18 months ago. She was a truly wonderful lady, very kind, incredibly thoughtful & intuitive. I shall miss her words of wisdom & her poems. My thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
12 septiembre, 2013 08:23:20
In the summer of 1973 I met Ruth through her daughter, Edith. Ruth was a kind and patient woman. She was highly educated, but knew how to communicate with anyone. She was fun to be with and she understood adolescents. Her works will live on and help others. Her children are a blessing to the world.
11 septiembre, 2013 23:18:32
I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother.
Mary Ann Cluggish
11 septiembre, 2013 19:25:07
Ruth Jacobs was an inspiration to so many. She was very special.
11 septiembre, 2013 17:30:46
On behalf of the Natick Veterans Oral History Project, I wish to convey my condolences to the family of Ruth Harriet Jacobs. She was one incredible lady.
11 septiembre, 2013 12:23:50
I am so thankful to have had the pleasure of knowing Ruth, even for a short while, at Wellesley. She was, and is, an inspiration to us all. I send my kindest wishes of love and light to all of her friends and family.
11 septiembre, 2013 01:28:07
Ruth was more like a sister to me than a sister-in-law. She welcome me into the family with a warm heart and has been a loving support ever since. We love you and miss you. Stephanie Miller (Mill Valley CA)
10 septiembre, 2013 17:56:58
Ruth --you welcomed me into poetry and your life many years ago and we have connected in so many wonderful ways. From early days of poetry workshops to the most recen times at the senior care setting where I joined you at your class and visited you just to connect once again.
We also shared times together at BOLLI an the many earl mornings at the Longfellow pool that we so enjoyed. I will miss our Wayland poetry workshops that we shared for several years as well. I have been blessed for having you in my life and for moving on with your many books beside me.
Sandie Bernstein Wayland
10 septiembre, 2013 09:44:53
Dear Ruth was a long and loyal friend. I am heartbroken. Since I am in Florida I will not be able to attend the services but I will remember when she visited me here and gave a workshop. She had a wide influence on many women for which she will always be remembered.
Anne G. Arsenault, Longboat Key, Florida
10 septiembre, 2013 07:52:45
Dear Edith; I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Theresa Kriston
Harry J. Getzov
9 septiembre, 2013 22:10:56
Ruth was my professor at Boston University back in the late '70s. But, more important, she was my friend, as well as a first-rate teacher and mentor. After years of working as an attorney in the music business, Ruth inspired me to take on a special challenge -- something that allowed me to return to my roots -- something that allowed me to pursue my passion. She she would then guide me along the way - which she will continue to do. I will miss my dear friend, Ruth, as many others will, as well. Rest in Peace, Ruth. xo Harry
9 septiembre, 2013 15:55:12
Ruth, you will be missed.
Phyllis Pressman Cohen
9 septiembre, 2013 11:15:17
Feisty little Ruth, you will be missed. The class I took with her was my first at BOLLI and gave me the confidence to submit my writing to many different outlets. Thank you for the guidance and the encouragement and for reinforcing the joy of learning when retired. She was outrageous in the most wonderful sense of the word.
9 septiembre, 2013 10:12:42
I was a one-time member of her Creative Writing Class at BOLLI (Brandeis), but deeply appreciate of her support that led me to a published poem. She was so proud of the "recidivists" who came semester after semester to her class to write, read and learn from this wonderfully spirited woman.
Laura Palmer Edwards
9 septiembre, 2013 08:27:39
Always one of my biggest supporters, Ruth was a force of nature, all by herself. She was kind, courageous, encouraging, a straight shooter, and most of all, a loyal friend. I will always remember her many kindnesses during dark times.. My condolences to Edith and Eli.
- Laura Palmer Edwards
9 septiembre, 2013 00:01:01
I learned a lot from Ruth in our Wayland writing group. She had a lot of dignity while at the same time a great sense of humor and zest for life.
8 septiembre, 2013 16:07:53
Ruth had an enormous impact on my life; knowing her was an honor and a privilege. Nothing anyone could write would begin to capture the spirit and joy and effect Ruth had on so many, many people. She was completely tuned in whenever she was with you...sensing your moods, your concerns, your thoughts and letting you know they were appreciated. She valued everyone she met and made each of us feel special. We, in turn, tried to rise to her vision of us. What a gift she had; what a gift she was!
8 septiembre, 2013 11:44:24
I only knew Ruth as a member of our Senior Service Network Group in MetoWest. She was an "Outrageous Older Woman", making certain to get in a good swim before our 8AM meetings, promoting her books, and laughing out loud. She was an example to all the Senior "Experts" at these meetings of living each day of our life with fullness and joy. We will miss her.
8 septiembre, 2013 09:43:04
Ruth was very encouraging during the times I spent in writing groups with her.
Her kind words helped me become a better writer.