Ruth Mauer

Obituary of Ruth A. Mauer

Ruth “Rivkie” Belle Abt Mauer, 91, passed away peacefully at home in Seminole, FL on March 17, 2024. 

Born in Borough Park, Brooklyn to Ida and Henry Abt on March 21, 1932, Ruth Abt married Leonard Mauer on May 29, 1955, after he told her she looked like Audrey Hepburn (she did). They lived together in West Hempstead, NY with their three daughters, until moving to St. Petersburg, FL in the early 2000s to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren.


Ruth graduated from New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn and Pennsylvania State University, graduating with a degree in English in 1954. She went on to earn a Doctor of Education Degree from Columbia University in 1976. Known affectionately as “Doc,” she was a beloved teacher of special education. For years, she headed the special education department for Great Neck South Middle School in New York. She was that special teacher for countless students - many kept in contact with her for decades after leaving her classroom. As a dedicated mother, Ruth would bring her three daughters with her to school at Columbia so they could see that they too could become anything they chose. Her girls all grew up to follow her example and their dreams. Dr. Mauer went on to become a professor of education at Queens College, helping others become the best educators they could be. Years later, she would bring this love of education full circle when she attended medical school classes with her granddaughter. The professors were always thrilled to see her and would save theirbest jokes for when “Bubbe” was in attendance.


Genuinely interested in people, Ruth knew how to make anyone feel special. She was an amazing hostess and loved to feed everyone. Children who did not have enough to eat at home, or who did not have an adult in whom to confide, could always count on her to feed, listen to, play with, and care for them. There are many children who can point to Ruth as the one adult they knew would always be there for them, and she was. Clever and kind, she was a great friend who always made time for others. Ruth was an active and vibrant member of her Jewish community and synagogue, both in West Hempstead and in St. Petersburg, and in her later years enjoyed teaching Hebrew and tutoring fellow congregants.

A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Ruth is survived by her three daughters Sue Morningstar (Howard), Debby Gaines (Mark), and Elizabeth Sembler (Greg); her grandchildren Aja (Chris), Jonah (Cortney), Jacob (Maged), Ezra (Clayton), Eve (Jonathan), and Ben; and her great-grandchildren Nachshon, Leo, Magnolia, Auryn, Merlin, and Ari. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Leonard Mauer and her siblings Seymour Abt and Florence Veniar. Contributions in Ruth’s memory may be made to Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg, Hadassah, Suncoast Hospice Foundation, or to the charity of your choice.


Ruth’s funeral will be at 1:00 PM Tuesday, March 19, at Congregation B’nai Israel, 300 58th Street N, St. Petersburg.The family will be sitting shiva Tuesday through Monday, March 24. Communal shiva minyans will be at the home of Greg and Liz Sembler in Seminole at 7PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.

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Funeral Service

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Congregation B'nai Israel
300 58th St N
St Petersburg, Florida, United States
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