Ruth Silbert of Los Alamos passed away peacefully at the age of 90 on February 12, 2022. Ruth was born and raised in Detroit. While growing up, her summers were spent at farms and lakes in Michigan with extended family. Ruth attended Alma College and graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Math and many life-long friends. While continuing her studies at the University of Michigan, she was recruited to work on the MANIAC computer at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, a job that she loved. Shortly after arriving in Los Alamos, she met Myron Silbert and they were married a few months later. After living in Chicago and Madison while Myron finished his schooling, they returned to Los Alamos with their son, Walt. Daughter Martha was born a couple of years later.
Ruth was a stay-at-home mom who was involved in her children’s activities and the community. She volunteered in the library at Aspen Elementary and in her children’s classrooms. She also volunteered for the hospital’s Lobby Shop, the Golf Course Pool Board, the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts. She took on leadership of a Cadet troop, a role she loved and held for about five years.
When her children were older, Ruth returned to school to learn newer programming languages and she returned to the Lab where she worked in C-Division creating computer graphics. With her math skills and artistic abilities, she was well suited for this job and enjoyed it very much. After 10 years, she retired to spend more time with her grandchildren, Ben and Lisa. She returned to her volunteer role at Aspen Elementary teaching kindergarteners to use computers in their classroom and the computer lab.
Around the time she returned to work, Ruth took several classes in watercolor, and enjoyed painting until a foot surgery left her temporarily unable to transport water to her art table. She switched to drawing with colored pencils. She never sold her artworks, choosing instead to give them to many people in her life.
Ruth loved the landscape of Los Alamos and northern New Mexico and enjoyed hiking in the mountains and canyons.
Ruth became involved in the Betty Ehart Senior Center where she taught line dancing and computer classes. In her later years, she also volunteered at the Los Alamos Visitor Center and the Fuller Lodge Art Center.
Ruth spent her final months at the Montecito of Santa Fe memory care, where she quickly made friends with the other residents and the staff.
Those who knew Ruth will remember her for her cheerful disposition and her infectious laugh. She didn’t judge others and treated everyone she met with compassion and respect.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Myron and sister Marie. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Walt Silbert and Barbara Hopkins; daughter and son-in-law, Martha and Mark Katko; grandchildren, Ben Katko and Lisa Langston, great grandchildren, Kacie and Chance; and sister Margaret.
A Memorial will be held at Fuller Lodge on March 25, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, 1010 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM 87544.