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Frankie Ritter Ruopp

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Frankie Ritter Ruopp, a former teacher and longtime volunteer in Yellow Springs community projects, died peacefully at her home in Tucson, Ariz. on Tuesday, Jan. She was 85.

During the years when Frankie was raising her four children, she also worked as a college English tutor and a Head Start teacher in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Ohio. She was a graduate of Antioch College.

As her children grew older, she became increasingly involved in helping to create and strengthen local resources in Yellow Springs, where she lived for many years. She was a leader in the establishment of the Yellow Springs Friends Care Center, a non-profit institution, and spearheaded the effort to make it the first nursing home in Ohio to admit AIDS patients. She chaired the local credit union board and the community activities board. Because of her interest in expanding affordable housing, she also served on the board of the county housing authority.

After moving to Green Valley, Ariz. in 1990, Frankie volunteered in a local elementary school and was active in the League of Women Voters. She was a regular volunteer worker at the Green Valley Community Food Bank and a member of its advisory board.

Health problems limited her activities in her later years, but never interfered with her patient attention to the needs of others and her sense of humor. She read widely in English literature, which contributed notably to her insight and understanding. Her family and close friends took great pleasure in her wit and imagination. Her husband wrote of her in a poem that her “twin certainties” were love and verse.

Frankie was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1927. She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Phillips Ruopp, who was on the Antioch College faculty for many years, and by her father, Deckard Ritter, who was well known in Yellow Springs. She is survived by her four children, Rebecca of Tucson, Ariz.; Charles of Boston, Mass.; Douglas of Tucson and Julia of Yellow Springs, as well as her five grandchildren, Ryan, Maya, Marcus, Helena and Lydia.

Her brother, Robert Ritter, of Sonoma, Calif., died in 2003. His four children and their children were a significant part of her extended family, as were a close group of younger friends.

A memorial service to take place in Yellow Springs is being planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Friends Care Community, 150 E. Herman St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387, or the Alzheimer’s Research, UA Dept. of Neurology, c/o Dr. Ahern, 1501 North Campbell Ave., Room 7319, Tucson, AZ 85724.


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