The passing of a truly great Truckee citizen |

The passing of a truly great Truckee citizen

As reported last week, Truckee resident, local attorney, Rotary president, WHATT charter member, CATT member and affordable housing advocate Ruth Frishman passed away after her battle with cancer. What an impact she had on Truckee.Many of you may not have known Ruth Ivy Frishman. That is unfortunate but understandable, as when Ruth made Truckee her home there were two-thirds less of us here. Pay attention though, as this will not be the last time you hear her name. It will be right there with McGlashan, McIver and Joseph.A lovely memorial exceptionally attended was held last Saturday – complete with fine Champagne and chocolate by Ruth’s decree. One could not help but notice just how much benefit Ruth’s life was to so many. The faces of family and friends each present to celebrate a full life of “example.” Tireless energy expended on those less fortunate than herself making affordable housing a cause as though a visionary of things to come. She bore a constant readiness in the defense of all things “woman” and believed morality and integrity to be superior guides above all else in making decisions. She had a tough exterior, but it was easily penetrated by the loneliness of a bird, or a dog, or a cat that had arrived at the humane society unwanted by others. Ruth would take them in and love them.Knowing some time ago that her cancer had returned, Ruth never complained about pain nor the hand she had been dealt. Ruth did not lower energies or expectations of herself. By God, she was not only going to serve her year as president of Rotary, but set high standards and goals for success unsurpassed. Ruth met her goals, enabling Rotary to give back to dozens of Truckee’s unmet needs, and of course, in Frishman style, was done at record levels. She died just three weeks shy of completing her term.Ruth Frishman challenged her nieces, her friends and life itself. In her passing, she has challenged Truckee. The majority of her estate has been left to the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe for the purpose of constructing a building in Truckee to house the often unwanted animals she cared so passionately about. The hurdle had always been the initial funds necessary to begin such a project. It is in keeping with how Ruth lived her life, that she has removed this barrier – this obstacle, this excuse – and in memoriam, challenged an entire community. Such a gift shall not be wasted nor will it.Honor Ruth by trying to live up to the example she set. We may not come close, but just by trying Truckee will be a better place for having known her.Ted Owens, former Truckee Town Council member and mayor, is the District V supervisor for eastern Nevada County. He can be reached at

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