Ruth Robinson Saltzman

November 24, 1926March 21, 2021

Ruth Robinson Saltzman, talented harpist and beloved friend and family matriarch, died March 21, 2021 in Providence, Rhode Island, at the age of 94. Devoted wife of the late Dr. Abraham Saltzman for over 63 years, Ruth was born in Providence as the only child of Charles and Louise Tager Robinson. Although Ruth was initially a serious piano student, she discovered her lifelong passion for the harp while attending the New England Music Camp. After graduating from Hope High School and one semester at Pembroke College, she moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a professional musician. Ruth was the sole female musician to travel the country with the original production of the musical “South Pacific” and played for the “Ice Capades.”

Ruth met Abe, a medical resident, in New York City in 1947; seven months later they married and over the course of eight years had four children. She is survived by her children Beth and her husband, Michael Aaronson, of Lynnfield, Mass.; Charles and his wife, Ingrid Nygaard, of Salt Lake City, Utah; David and his wife, Beth Barovick, of Wayland, Mass.; and John and his wife, Deborah Lang Saltzman, of Newton, Mass.

After the untimely death of her parents in 1954, Ruth moved back to Providence to her family home where she continued her musical career. She performed for over 30 years as the principal harpist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. As a respected teacher and soloist, Ruth was delighted to play for many decades with the outstanding flutist Donna Heiken (Golden Harp and Flute) and her dear friend and brilliant flutist John Curran. She loved performing and seeing all aspects of life celebrations through the eyes of the unseen background musicians and felt fortunate to still play “gigs” into her late 80s.

In addition to raising four children who she was happy all became gainfully employed (an architect, an attorney and two medical doctors), Ruth’s loves were simple and fulfilling: gardening, reading, spending time with her dogs, and traveling, but most of all, she adored meeting people and conversation. An immensely curious and social person, Ruth made friends wherever she went. She cared intensely about others and would associate easily with people from all ages and walks of life. She regularly invited acquaintances to come over for lunch or tea, after which they would often become devoted friends. An only child, Ruth delighted in having a large family and cherished her time with them, especially during many family trips and the annual family vacation in Cape Cod. She reveled in the details of her grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s lives. She was grandmother to eleven: Daniel (and spouse, Rachel), Benjamin (Heidi), and Jonathan (Ariagne) Aaronson; Steven, Ilanna (Daniel Williams), Andrew, Hanna (Nathan Davidson), Rachel, Erik, Julia, and Jeffrey Saltzman; and great-grandmother to six: Abigail, William, Charlotte, Caroline, Aviva, and Lorenzo Aaronson.

Ruth leaves behind many doting caregivers whom she loved, and with whom she became very close. A private funeral service will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Providence Animal Rescue League, the Rochambeau Library of Providence, or Hope Health’s Hospice.

A virtual Shiva will be held on Tuesday, March 23rd at 7pm. Please click here to join the virtual Shiva,

PASSWORD: 572353


  • Graveside Service

    Monday, March 22, 2021



Ruth Robinson Saltzman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Maralyn Klibansky

March 26, 2021

Our condolences to Beth Mike and family. So sorry to hear of Ruth’s
Passing. We always enjoyed seeing her at your home. She was a sweet and
Lovely lady of whom will be missed by many. May all your wonderful memories comfort
You all and continued peace to you all!
Our continued thoughts and prayers are with you.

Much love to all
MAralyn and Walter

Anthony Hollingshead

March 25, 2021

To the Saltzman Family.....Sincere condolences from the staff at Swan Point Cemetery. Ruth played for services here and just a few years ago at our Annual Meeting. We will always remember Ruth for her kind demeanor and her desire to make sure her performances here were perfect.

It was an honor to know this lovely lady.

David Suhl

March 24, 2021

I remember Ruth as a very sweet and engaging hostess and conversationalist. Her wit and humor was lovely and her caring attitude filled my heart. I also really liked her Harp music. She will certainly be missed.

Marie Renée Prouteau

March 24, 2021

Je garde un souvenir ému de notre visite à Providence chez votre maman avec mon amie Veronique.
Très sincères condoléances,
Marie Renée
Nantes, France

Karen Liffmann

March 23, 2021

Heartfelt condolences on the passing of Ruth. I remember her fondly from my childhood when my grandmother (Alice Liffmann) and I would visit and have tea. Piano and music were their common passions.
I remember Ruth’s smile and gentle demeanor.
May her memory shine brightly.

Jane Crowell

March 23, 2021

My condolences to Ruth's family. Ruth was a wonderful childhood friend growing up on the East Side. So many memoires of her playing the piano for birthdays, having sleepovers and going to Hope High. Ruth used to join us for Reunion luncheons that were so special. May your memories comfort you and bring you peace at this time. The sound of her harp will forever be in our hearts.

Jane Holt Crowell

Trent Ferrara

March 23, 2021

So sorry to read of Ruth’s passing. Ruth and Abe were so kind and so supportive to this “new kid on the block”, when opening “ Trent. Bistro ,Kafe and Pastries “, on Hope Street, on Providence’s East Side. (1999-2001). They were regulars, a couple of times a week for dinner and occasionally brought friends with them. Their love and respect for each other was evident as they sat and shared conversation over dinner. I have wonderful memories of visiting them at their home and being honored by Ruth , with a private concert on her heavenly harp. Ruth was a special and talented women and I feel blessed, having known her. My sincerest condolences to her family . She will be missed by all who’ s lives she touched. Ruth and Abe touched my life in ways they will never know, and for that, I’m forever grateful.

Véronique Ngo

March 23, 2021

Véronique ( Tilly-France )

Eleanor Radin

March 22, 2021

It is because of Ruth that I began my piano studies with Fred Very almost 80 years ago. Our parents were close friends and, he was Ruth's teacher at that time. I stayed with him until I entered music college. Ruth moved on to the harp. I remember traveling to NY with my parents to hear her in recital. She also played at my daughter's .wedding. So many memories

Cindy Aaronson

March 22, 2021

My family sends our heartfelt condolances to Beth, Charlie, David and John and their families. I remember many times seeing Ruth in her home, enjoying her garden and seeing her harp in its place of honor. She will very much be missed though kept alive in all of our hearts and memories.