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1941 - 2024

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In Loving Memory

Ruth Ann (Jasper) Turk

January 25, 1941 – June 12, 2024

Ruth Ann Turk, 83, of Rochester, NY, passed away peacefully at 10:35 PM on June 12th, 2024.  She was preceded in death by her husband Charles, her brother Charles Jaspe of Buffalo, NY, and her mother (Delores) and father (Arthur).  She is survived by her brother Arthur (and his wife Cathy); her sons Frank (and his wife Tara), John, and Chris; her grandchildren Amanda, Caleb, and Elaina Grace (and her husband William); and also her great-grandson Damien Charles. She also has many cousins, nieces, and nephews who remember her with love.

Ruth was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up as a scrappy neighborhood kid.  She had life-long friendships with Marie Longo-Zayan, Lois Jutze, and Frances Chinni Witnauer, playing cards and laughing into the night with them regularly, a habit of joy they kept together for decades.  She moved to Rochester after marrying Charles. He was a respected teacher at McQuaid Jesuit High School until he retired in 2001.  She was a stay-at-home mom for many years, and is well remembered among the kids who grew up in the neighborhood with her boys as “everyone’s mom.”

Ruth was well-known as a professional clown.  She volunteered extensively at local hospitals and for charity events and taught many classes on the art of clowning.  Her fellow performers would tell you that she taught them what it meant to be a fool for Christ.

Ruth began her “second career” (after motherhood) with BOCES in the 1980’s.  She began as a volunteer, then as a classroom aid, and after getting her degree in special education from Nazareth College, as an art teacher at the Vollmer satellite school in Henrietta. Her compassion for kids with special needs and her creative spirit influenced many to find their own creative self-expression.  Ruth was also a tireless volunteer, both to her church and her community.  She was always energized by community and people and always had time for a friend in need.

After Charles died in 2018, Ruth was a resident of the Episcopal Church Home on Mt. Hope Ave. in Rochester.  The staff and other residents loved her positive presence and her reflexive humor in all situations.

She was beloved by many and will be greatly missed.

Frank, John, and Chris request that no flowers be sent because Ruth was allergic.  Gifts in memory of Ruth’s life should be made to the Episcopal Church Home, which gave her so much love and dignity along with excellent personal medical attention in her final years.

Friends and family are invited to call on TUESDAY, June 18, from 3-6PM at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services (3325 Winton Rd S). Funeral Service and interment private.

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