SCHENEVUS – Schenevus native Ruth Aileen Roland, who worked her way through college to a Ph.D., became a political science professor and published two books on world affairs, died Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.
She was born Oct. 28, 1922, in Schenevus, the daughter of Mayo Roland and Alice Green Roland.
Ruth was an academic and an intellectual. In 1939, she left her family home in Schenevus, the weekend she graduated from high school and moved to New York City. She found an apartment, got a job, and enrolled in college.
Attending college in the evenings, while working for many different organizations in clerical/secretarial capacities, she received her B.A. magna cum laude from Northeastern University, Boston, in 1958. With a concentration in Southeast Asian History, Ruth was awarded her M.A. in 1963; and her Ph.D. in 1969.
In 1966-90 she was a professor of political science at Georgia Southwestern College, Americus. She won several teaching awards and was well liked by her students. She was the lovable professor who engaged her students and listened to their opinions. She never drove, rode her bike to campus, wore loud, bright-colored clothes, and occasionally held her classes outdoors when the sun was shining.
She authored two books, “Translating World Affairs” and “Interpreters as Diplomats, A Diplomatic History of the Role of Interpreters in World Politics.” Ruth had great interest in languages. She could read and write in over a half-dozen differing languages, and could speak several. Her major hobby was foreign travel.
In her retirement, she lived alone in Baltimore from 1990 to 2009. She moved to Upstate New York in 2009, being closer to family. The last years of her life she lived at the Loudonville Enhanced Assisted Living Residence and finally at Westhaven EALR, both near Albany. She was grateful for the loving kindness and care she received at both residences. She endeared most she met with her stoic demeanor whilst facing the harsh disabilities of old age.
Ruth passed away only a few days short of 95 years of age. A very private and independent woman, Ruth overcame her humble start in life, and accomplished much more than what was expected from women in her generation.
She is predeceased by her parents, her only brother Ralph Mayo Roland, and his wife Cecelia. She is survived by her nieces and nephews: Richard Roland, of Bellevue, Wash.; Kathleen Lowery, of Chesterfield, Mo.; Paddi LeShane, of Hartford, Conn.; Scott Roland of Schenevus; Craig Roland, of Cumming, Ga.; and Barbara Milano, of Niskayuna. Ruth was never married and had no children.
She will be buried in the Schenevus cemetery and no services are planned per her wishes.