Ruth Lois Knight Kite died Tuesday morning, February 5th. She was 91 years old.
She was born in Trenton, NJ on January 17th, 1922, the daughter of A. Harvey Knight and Irene Washburn Knight. She was educated at Kent's Hill School and Bryn Mawr College, and later earned a Masters of Library Science from Simmons College.
In 1946 she married Owen William Kite and they raised a family while living in Newton, Wilmington, Wellesley, and Gloucester. During her retirement they lived in Punta Gorda and Venice FL, and later Durham, NH. For the past two years she resided at Sugar Hill Retirement Community in Wolfeboro, NH.
In her professional career she worked as a librarian at Endicott College and for ten years she was the Librarian at the Hamilton Public Library in Hamilton, MA. In her retirement she also owned and managed a bookshop, The Bookshelf, in Fisherman's Village, Punta Gorda, FL.
Mrs. Kite was an avid reader, and enjoyed taking daily walks around her neighborhoods throughout her adult life.
She is pre-deceased by her parents, her husband, and a sister, Doris Knight Leete formerly of Wakefield, RI, and by her daughter Joanne Kite Clark formerly of Northampton, MA. She is survived by her children: Martha and Murray Hart of Lanesville, MA; Owen William Kite Jr. of Boca Raton, FL; Jennifer Ann Kite of Sandown, NH; Jeffrey Washburn Kite of Gilmanton, NH; and David Knight Kite of Waterbury, VT. She is also survived by eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A Few Words in Passing
Our mother lived well for 91 years but ran out of time on Tuesday. By any measure, a good run. Her children are left to work through the sadness that comes with not having a parent to talk with.
Even so, we will miss how she just lit up with pleasure when we walked in her door. A kiss, a hug and a huge smile, every time. Her last couple of years were as well-spent as time’s subtractions would allow. She loved to read but sight was failing. The formerly simple act of taking a walk outside became an increasing challenge. Looking on the bright side must have been increasingly difficult but she never expressed that.
Our mother had the unusual gift of having an iron will that was always expressed without an edge. None of her children had any success at beguiling her to accept any ‘good idea’ that she entertained suspicions of. Her walker, one such idea, travelled a total distance that would be measured in feet rather than miles. It had cobwebs on it.
She was never confused about what was important in her life. At the age of forty, well before mothers were common in the workplace, she decided to get a Master’s degree in library science although she had six children, one an infant. For 10 years she was the head librarian in Hamilton, Massachusetts for before retiring with her husband to Florida where she started a second career as a bookstore owner.
Our father and mother spent 20 years retired in Florida before moving to Durham, New Hampshire. Dad was 90 years old when he died in 2009. Their marriage was remarkable in that the bond between them seemed to grow stronger with time. In 2010 our mother moved to Sugar Hill Retirement Community in Wolfeboro where she spent the last two years.
On Tuesday it was time for her to go. My brother told me that her neighbor, had commented that our mother was lucky ‘She’d just had her hair done, her teeth fixed and she went fast and easy’ All true. Also true that her work here was done. Six children raised, a marriage that was still a source of joy after 63 years. A career built around reading and books. She was an accomplished painter, a writer and sometimes poet (although she would not have mentioned that). Somehow, her gifts and interests were given to her children in different measure.
We, her children, are left to consider what has been given and taken in this, one of life’s hardest transactions. It will take a while to get used to not having her around.
Certainly, we were blessed to be her children.
Memorial donations may be made to the New Hampshire Association for the Blind, 25 Walker Street, Concord, NH 03301.