, Derry, New Hampshire

May 9, 2013

Ruth Brooks, 86

Derry, NH — After 86 wonderful years, Ruth Thompson Brooks of Derry, N.H., passed away on Friday, May 3, 2013.

Born August 17, 1926, in Sewickley, Pa., Ruth spent her childhood with her parents, Ernest and Signe Thompson, and sister, Jean, in Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut. She loved her alma mater Mount Holyoke College, where she earned a B.A. in French with a minor in music. A lifelong learner, she went on to earn an advanced degree in Chemistry from Wesleyan University. In June, 1954, she married photographer and clarinetist David Brooks. Ruth and David lived most of their years together in Connecticut, had two sons, vacationed in the lakes region of New Hampshire, and later chose to retire to picturesque New Hampshire. Although Ruth worked as an analytical chemist early in her career, she later found her true passion was to be a music teacher. Ruth taught piano, violin, viola, and guitar out of her homes in Connecticut and New Hampshire to hundreds of students over 50 years. She was still actively teaching 10 students until March, 2013.

Ruth's love for music extended far beyond teaching. She founded and played violin and viola in the Hamden Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut. The amateur orchestra, now a vital part of the local community, honored Ruth at its 50th anniversary celebration last year. Ruth continued to travel from New Hampshire to play in the orchestra as recently as 2012. Ruth was actively involved in churches everywhere she lived, especially with teaching children and offering her gifts of music. Ruth especially liked gardening, yard work, canoeing, blueberry picking and relaxing in her cottage in Atkinson, N.H.

Ruth is survived by her dear and treasured sons and daughters-in-law, Roland and Nelia Brooks of Hamilton, Mass., and Peter Brooks and Lulu Huber of West Windsor, N.J.; seven adored grandchildren, Trevor, Emily, Laurel, Sarah, Jason, Timothy, and Simon; beloved poodle, Winnie; and countless good friends, neighbors, and students.

From composing music and publishing her poetry in the local paper, to exploring the world and sharing long conversations with loved ones, Ruth led a fascinating, exciting, and blessed life.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service in celebration of Ruth’s life will be held on Saturday, May 18, at 11:30 a.m. at First Parish Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, family members are requesting donations be sent to First Parish Congregational Church, 47 East Derry Road, Derry, NH 03041 in her name. Please designate if donations are for either the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund or the Music Fund.