Tribute to Ruthie Hamilton
One of the pillars of The Curt Sheck Foundation left us on October 18, 2020. Ruthie , Curt's aunt and my sister, was involved with the creation of the foundation, serving as board secretary until her sudden passing. She helped moved this library project in Guayabo, Costa Rica, from dream to reality.
She was present at the first meeting with the community in 2005 in Guayabo to begin planning the library building and envisioning how the foundation and community would work together. She was already no stranger there: she had accompanied me on several visits to the Guayabo primary school, helping shop beforehand for school supplies, teaching materials and books for the small school library.
As board secretary, Ruthie did everything from writing checks, taking notes and helping with yearly federal and state reports to coming to the rescue when I couldn’t remember needed passwords. She made suggestions on annual appeal letters—always a fantastic proofreader—along with our sister, Rosie, and often helped address, stamp and mail those letters.
She continued to be a presence in the community through the years. I have photographs of her interacting with the schoolchildren and the community, holding the tape measure to mark the building’s footprint, sweeping the floor of the new building the day before its inauguration, cutting the ribbon on that long-awaited day, and sitting in on storytelling sessions with kids in later years. She was a faithful donor.
For me, her invaluable role was that of offering unfailing support through all these years. I could count on her attentive listening, a sympathetic response during challenging times, and honest opinions on matters I brought to her. While I will miss that so much, I am grateful that she will ever be a part of every library activity—books read, programs presented, classes taught, movies shown, Internet and computer access open to all and expanded opportunities for children and adults in a rural village in Costa Rica, far from her Texas home but close to her heart.