Deaths Death Notices
HNATH, Bessie Ruth (Shanks)
HNATH - Bessie Ruth (nee Shanks)
On June 27, 2014, Ruth was reunited with her beloved husband, Mike, after being apart for 22 years. Born in Laurel, Mississippi on February 12, 1926 to George A. and Bessie R. Shanks, Ruth was the youngest of seven children. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi as a small child, Ruth graduated high school and Millsaps College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. She then began her lifetime of service by entering the field of social work. She attended the University of Denver before moving on to the University of Wisconsin, where in 1951 she earned a masters in social work and, more importantly, met the love of her life, Michael William Hnath. They married in Jackson on April 22, 1953, and moved to Buffalo, New York to start a new life together. On September 26, 1954 their first child, David Michael Hnath, was born. Shortly after their second son, Gary Mitchell Hnath, was born on January 13, 1958 they moved to Williamsville, New York, where their daughter, Rebecca Leigh (Hnath) Svensson was born on October 15, 1959, and where Ruth resided for 54 years, the final 2 at Amberleigh Retirement Community. A social worker for 40 years at both Buffalo State Hospital and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Ruth helped many families through difficult times in their lives. After retiring, Ruth again served, volunteering with Volunteers Unlimited working with elementary school children, and serving the Town of Amherst seniors as an ombudsman. She loved to play bridge, and was a faithful member of the Amherst Bridge Club. And of course we can't forget Judge Judy! Ruth is proudly survived by her family: Dave and his wife of 30 years, Lisa, and their children Elizabeth Ruth, Sarah Rachel and Michael David; Gary and his children Lillian Marie (and her husband Michael Thomas), Jenna Michelle, Moriah Rose (and her husband Thomas Nell) and Kameron Bradford Charles, and their mother Linda M. Hahn; and Becky and her husband of 20 years, Scott, and their children Noah Ryan and Jarod Tyler. A brief celebration of her life will be held at Amberleigh on Sunday afternoon June 29, 2014 from 1-3 PM. Entombment at Calvary Churchyard will be a private family gathering. Mom/Grandma- you are loved, and your memory will be treasured as you live on in the hearts of the many you have touched over the years! Arrangements by LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME.