In Memory

Ruth M. McEvoy (Richmond Memorial Library Librarian)

Ruth M. McEvoy (Richmond Memorial Library Librarian)

Miss Ruth Melvina McEvoy

BATAVIA - Miss Ruth Melvina McEvoy, 96, of Batavia , retired director of Richmond Memorial Library and former city historian, died Friday, January 10, 2003 at her home.

Miss McEvoy was born July 1, 1906 in Merrimack, NH, a daughter of the late Joseph Weston and Emma Laura French McEvoy. She moved to Henniker, NH because her father worked for the raiilroad. She graduated from Henniker High School and was a 1928 graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Miss McEvoy received a master's degree from Columbia University during the Depression and taught English for a few years before moving to New york City. She worked at a Brooklyn Public Library for 13 years until she moved to Batavia in 1946.

She served as  assistant to former Richmond Memorial Library director Mabel Case and was instrumental in  the development of a new checkout system for the books. Miss McEvoy was appointed library director in 1963 and retired in 1971.

After her retirement she was appointed city historian and it was during her time as historian that she pored through Daily News microfilm to develop her book, The History of Batavia, which, particularly during the county's bicentennial in 2002, was quoted from often.

She was a member of First Baptist Church of Batavia for more than 50 years, a member of Batavia Players, Genesee County Senior Center, YWCA, Holland Purchase Historical Society, I.A.R.P., and the former Conversation Class. She was honored in May as one of YWCA's Fabulous Females.

Survivors include a sister-in-law, Edith McEvoy of Nashua, NH; four nieces and a nephew.

She was a sister of the late Weston E. McEvoy and Eva Emma Farrar.

There are no calling hours. Services will be at a later date at First Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia, NY 14020 or to the church, 306 East Main St. Arrangements were by H.E. Turner and Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main St.

McEvoy's Legacy Recalled by Roger Muehilig, Daily News Staff Writer

"Ruth McEvoy was not a native Batavian, but she left a legacy as a documentor of the city's history and a hard-working director of the Richmond Memorial Library," acquaintances said.

McEvoy, who died Friday at age 96, served as city historian after retiring from her library post in 1971.

Corrine Iwanicki, the city's current historian, said McEvoy was a "dellightful person," yet modest and quiet.

"I think we were very lucky to have her," she said.

Iwanicki said she didn't do any research with McEvoy, but is keenly aware of the significance of her book on the city's history.

McEvoy chronicled the city's history in a nearly 300-page book that came out in 1993.

She "did a wonderful job" on the book, said Iwanicki. "Everybody  goes and looks at that when they want to do any research on Batavia."

McEvoy, a native of Merrimack, NH, was an assistant to former director Mabel Case at the Richmond Library, then served as director from 1963 to 1971.

Martha Spinnegan, the library's current director, said the two women were instrumental in developing the facility's collection, improving circulation and getting the library chartered through the state Department of Education.

McEvoy was very community minded. Spinnegan said. "The library owes a large debt to Ruth because of all the work she did."

"McEvoy was also a regular at the Senior Center, attending the noontime meals and participating in the Office for the Aging's Retired Senior Volunteers Program ." Pamela Whitmore said.

She was active as a volunteer for probably 15 years, Whitmore said, with history as a favorite interest.

"She would meet with different people to discuss history projects they were working on. That (history) was her love."

County Historian Susan Conklin said McEvoy helped her set up the History Department library when she first started on the county job.

She recalled Mc Evoy visiing the department often to organize newsclips from The Daily News and having a sense of humor that was not evident until after the two got to know each other.

"We just had a wonderful time visiting and chatting." she said.

Plans are being made for a memorial service for McEvoy at the First Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to the church at 306 East Main St. or to the library at 19 Ross St.

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11/24/10 02:12 PM #1    

Jim Minor

From a photo provided by the Richmond Memorial Library to Donna Gehlert Russell -

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