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    Albany residents gathered to memorialize Ruth Meniketti

    Two longtime dancing pals of Ruth Meniketti attended her memorial at Albany Community Center on Saturday noonTwo longtime dancing pals of Ruth Meniketti attended her memorial at Albany Community Center on Saturday noon. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Nearly 100 people gathered at the Albany Community Center Saturday to remember Ruth Meniketti, an active member of the community for almost half a century. Meniketti died at the age of 86 after being struck by a pickup while she was walking on a street near her home in June.

    A devout environmentalist, Meniketti refused to drive all her life.

    “She never owned a car. I could only take her down to the bus if necessary,” recalled her son Marco Meniketti , who had to plead with his mother to take a ride.

    Meniketti had a passion for environmental protection and community service. She was a founding member of Friends of Five Creeks, a group dedicated to protecting creeks and watersheds. She served on Albany’s Parks and Recreation Commission for 28 years and the city’s Waterfront Committee for seven years. She was also a regular volunteer at the Albany Library and was active in several other civic groups.

    “It seems to me that she wove a very beautiful and rich fabric between the poles of family and community, and we are very fortunate to have that beautiful web to remember, “said Susan Schwartz, president of Friends of Five Creeks.

    Meniketti was born in Virginia in 1921. She grew up in a mine camp in Kentucky, graduated from a teacher’s college there and moved to live in Albany in 1958. She loved folk dancing, reading and sewing. There were two of Meniketti’s dancing pals, both in their 80s, at the memorial. The three women had been going out dancing for 30 years.

    Four of the five City Council members, including Mayor Robert Lieber, also attended the memorial and praised Meniketti’s service to the community.

    “She brought soul to the community,” said former Mayor Robert Cheasty.

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