KENT – Mrs. Dorothy Fruit passed away peacefully at home in Kent, Ohio following a brief illness with her family by her side on Wednesday, April 30 2014.
Dorothy Ann Beck was born March 15, 1929, the daughter of Roy and Ruth (Riddle) Beck of East Palestine, Ohio. She was a 1947 graduate of East Palestine High School, and 1951 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.
She is a former member of the East Palestine Grace Lutheran Church & the First United Presbyterian Church of East Palestine, and for more than thirty years has been a member of the Presbyterian Church of Kent in Kent, OH and associate member of First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota, FL.
Mrs. Fruit is survived by her spouse, James Pettit Fruit, whom she married on July 14, 1951, along with their three children Jeffrey W. (Marcia) of East Palestine, Ohio, Lynn M. (Ed Miller) of Tampa, FL, and David J. of Davis and Lake Tahoe, CA., and six grandchildren, Byron J. (Jenifer) Fruit of Pittsburgh, PA, Callie L. (Patrick) McFall of Columbiana, OH, James W. Fruit of Bethesda, MD, Roy K. Fruit of East Palestine, OH, Nicholas A. Miller and Grant Beck Miller both of Tampa FL.
Dorothy loved reading and travel, and was known by her family and friends as a gourmet cook who loved sharing her dinner table with those she loved. She will be remembered as a scholar, teacher, role model and mentor, and active volunteer in her community and church, and by her family as a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
Mrs. Fruit received her master’s degree from Kent State University and a specialization in gerontology from the University of Michigan. She served
as director and faculty member of the School of Family and Consumer Studies at Kent State University, and upon retirement was awarded emeritus status in recognition of 25 years of service, teaching, advising and her own research in intergenerational studies. Two scholarships were named in her honor, the Dorothy Fruit Gerontology Student Scholarship and the Family and Consumer Studies Student Scholarship. She was a recipient of the Ohio Network of Educational Consultants’ Outstanding Gerontology Educator in the State of Ohio Award and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s Mildred M. Seltzer Distinguished Service Recognition Award. During her tenure at KSU, Mrs. Fruit was instrumental in establishing an undergraduate gerontology major, the Gerontology Center, the Interdisciplinary Council on Gerontology, and the Kent State chapter of the national honor society in Gerontology for students and alumni (Sigma Phi Omega). She served on the Laurel Lake Retirement Center Board, Kentway Retirement Center Board, Family and Consumer Studies Alumni Board (KSU) and the Ohio Research Council on Aging Executive Committee. During her professional career she conducted international presentations in France, Budapest and Rome. Following her retirement, she remained active with Kent State, participating in the Gerontology Center’s Senior Guest Student program with her husband, Jim, and consulting on curriculum issues and research directions with the Human Development Center.
Funeral services will be held 4:00 PM Sunday, May 4th at the Presbyterian Church of Kent with Rev. Aaron Meadows officiating. Private burial will be held at Glenview Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the services. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dorothy Fruit Gerontology Student Scholarship, the Family and Consumer Studies Student Scholarship, or the Presbyterian Church of Kent, 1456 E. Summit Street, Kent, OH 44240.