Ruth Harvie, 87, former Chester teacher, state senator, was known for vegetable gardening, love of music
Ruth Hyde Harvie, 87, died after a period of failing health, on Oct. 3, 2016 at the independent living community of Kendal at Hanover, N.H.
She attended the Emma Willard School and graduated from Russell Sage College. She received her master’s degree from Paterson State College and entered the teaching profession while raising four children.
Ms. Harvie taught in the Montclair and Verona, N.J., schools and, upon her move to Vermont in 1973, taught English at Green Mountain Union High School in Chester until her retirement in 1989.
Before moving to Kendal in 2009, Ms. Harvie had lived in Kinnelon and Montclair, N.J., and Chester and Manchester, Vt. She treasured a lifetime of summers at the family camp — known as Woodchuck — on Sherman Lake in the Adirondacks.
Ms. Harvie was known as a high-energy person who had many interests. She was an avid tennis player, and children in youth sports programs will remember her tireless instruction. In New Jersey, she never missed an opportunity to become involved in community theater, both on and off the stage. Later in life she was a dedicated board member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
Antique collecting and selling were a life-long interest, and her beloved Glen Finert Farm in Chester included a barn overflowing with antiques. Her homes always included beautifully maintained gardens and grounds. Vegetables from her Glen Finert Farm garden were on the menu in fine area restaurants. At Kendal, she continued actively gardening at the Kendal Community Gardens.
Ms. Harvie was an avid traveler, a hobby that began later in life. But she managed to visit 97 countries and remote locations. She had friends all over the world, many made at the bed and breakfast that she operated in her home in Chester. Music was also a lifelong interest and she played several instruments and loved playing the trumpet with the Mad Bavarian Band and the Grafton Cornet Band until just a few years ago.
Politics were an abiding interest for Ms. Harvie. She was a dedicated Republican, working hard to support local candidates from her home in Kinnelon, N.J. She served as a Windsor County state senator in Vermont for the 1995-96 session.
Ms. Harvie’s sister Harriet Harvie Seymour and brother Peter Lyons Harvie predeceased her. She is survived by her sister Diana Harvie Maher of Rio de Janerio; daughter Heidi Porter Webster, of Norwich; sons Harvie Porter and wife Susan of Randolph; Walter Porter and wife Bonnie of Brentwood, N.H.; Jeb Porter of Belmont; and stepchildren Leigh Garoni of Hackensack, N.J.; and Christine Garoni Petrizzo of Fort Myers, Fla.
She was most delighted with her grandchildren: Maggie Webster Gray, Graham Webster, Libby Webster Ratico, David Porter, Katie Porter, Emily Porter, Ashley Porter Polson, Jamieson Porter and Jenny Porter, along with four great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the medical and nursing staff at Kendal for their loving and compassionate care.
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A memorial service with reception to follow will be held at 3 p.m. Monday Oct. 10 at the Norwich Congregational Church. Donations in Ms. Harvie’s memory may be made to the Grafton Cornet Band, P.O. Box 82, Grafton, VT 05146.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover, NH.
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