Ruth Church Memorial Fund

Described by her daughter Emily Moore as upbeat, animated, with an engaging smile, the late Ruth Church was a woman devoted to her family and her community. Ruth was born in New York and moved to Providence in 1955, where she and her husband, Russell, raised Emily and her brother, Kenneth, and where Ruth became a real estate broker, one of the first women agents on the East Side, with a successful career lasting 40 years. Ruth majored in English at Antioch College and had a life-long love of reading and literature, as well as many friends. Said Emily of her mother, “It seemed as if she knew all the houses on the East Side and all the people who lived in those houses, too.”

On both a personal and professional level, the role of community held great meaning for Ruth. Whether finding just the right home for the right person, gathering with her walking, hiking and book clubs, or frequenting local libraries, Ruth was very proud of Providence and had “nothing but positive things to say about Rhode Island, the arts, and the renaissance taking place in Rhode Island.”

Emily, who has worked in the non-profit sector for many years, was inspired by the work of community foundations, recognizing them as “an important vehicle in the community to do important work,” and decided with her brother to partner with the Foundation to honor their mother and their mother’s love for Rhode Island, its people, and natural beauty.

The Ruth Church Memorial Fund will support the work of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Community Grants program, designed to enliven neighborhoods and outdoor spaces. Emily and Kenneth were also drawn to supporting a dynamic, evolving program focused on building community relationships, like those that were such an essential part of Ruth’s life, and now, legacy.

“Even though community grants are about physical spaces, they are also about bringing communities together in new ways,” Emily explains. “My brother and I are proud that, in a small way, our mother will continue to be a part of enhancing community and life in Rhode Island.”