Surrounded by family members, Ruth M. Lack (nee Gustafson), age 93, died peacefully on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at Warren Haven Nursing Home. One of four daughters born in Brooklyn, NY on January 17, 1923 to Swedish immigrants, Bror and Jenny Gustafson, Ruth attended Jamaica High School in Queens, NY. During World War II, working as one of the original "Rosie the Riveters" at Grumman Aircraft, her small size made her one of the few who could fit in tight areas of the fuselage. After a long career at Hempstead Bank in Mineola, NY, she retired to Stuart, FL where she lived happily for over twenty years. For the last six years, she resided in Warren County, NJ.
Ruth was preceded in death by her first husband, Anthony Pluto, and her second husband, Joseph Lack. Her sisters, Corrine, Vilma, Adele also predeceased her as did other siblings who did not survive to adulthood. Survivors include her loving daughter, Virginia Rutledge of Lopatcong, NJ; her son, Tony Pluto of West Hempstead, NY; her daughter, Melissa Larson of Seabrook, TX; and son, Andrew Lack of NY. She was loved and known as MorMor by her six grandchildren: Walter Hoenes of Washington, DC; Kristen Hoenes Horner of South Harrison, NJ; Julie Hoenes Palitto of Lopatcong, NJ; Leslie Pluto Daniels and Kathryn Pluto, both of West Hempstead, NY and Nicholas Larson of Seabrook, TX. Ruth also had seven great-grandchildren: Rachel, Erin, Morgan and Sean Horner; Jay Palitto; and Brianna and Madison Daniels.
Ruth loved life and lived fully, whether it was sailing in Long Island's Great South Bay or Florida's Saint Lucie River or playing Rumikub with her family. A true American patriot, for many years she organized her retirement community's annual Memorial Day observances and Independence Day celebrations. A lifelong devout Lutheran, her Christian faith was deeply personal and important to her. Always ready with a song in her heart and on her tongue, she loved all kinds of music and the beauty of the human voice in particular. She was funny and cute and could dance. Ruth was a powerful force of love and light, willing and eager to be a friend to all. We will miss her.
A Memorial service will be celebrated on Sunday January 22, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the First Lutheran Church, 563 North Main Street, Stewartsville, NJ 08886.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, we would be very grateful for any donations sent to First Lutheran Church, PO Box 86, Stewartsville, NJ 08886.
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