May 16, 2012

Memories live on with passing of special friends


In the middle of one interview, she said her Grandmother Fay had died just three weeks before the completion of the beautiful home that Grandfather Fay was building for her at 35 Elm St. in Malone. Such sadness gave way eventually, and John Fay married Daphne Taylor.

"Taylor!" I said, surprised. "That's my great-grandmother's name." Lo and behold, it was the same Taylor line. Suddenly an ancestor who was just a name took shape in a picture Ruthie gave me, followed by Daphne's cookbook and stories of holidays and parties. We had a kindred spirit that never changed.

Ruthie died May 2 at 35 Elm. She dedicated herself to being the guardian of 100-plus years of family and community history, connecting the past with the future.

These few words scarcely scratch the surface of the legacies of Betty and Ruthie. If I could have kept them here with me until I turn 150, then I might think about letting them go, but that's not the way life works. There is no way to measure friendships like these. I can only hope to pass something on to the next generation that I learned from them.

One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.

Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at

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