Ruth Manuta Foundation
The Ruth Manuta Foundation was established in 1994 to continue the work of Ruth P. Manuta. Ruthie was employed by Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa as a Laboratory Assistant in Chemistry when David M. Manuta was hired as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry there in 1986. She was devoted to the University and was faithful in ensuring that all of the equipment, instrumentation, and supplies were in order. I counted on Ruthie to do many of these necessary tasks. This had the result of freeing me up to do prepare for my committee work, instructional duties, and research activities.
What started out
as friendship grew stronger, much like the words to a popular song. Seeing
each other every day in a professional capacity, enabled us to truly get
to know one another. We soon became inseparable and we married
in March 1988. Many people told us that the two of us were put on Earth
to be together. We were soul mates and we did virtually everything together.
In 1989, we relocated to southern Ohio when we both accepted positions at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. This area, purported to be where “southern hospitality” begins, is considerably different from northeast Iowa. The college has contributed to revitalizing an area that once counted multiple shoe factories and steel mills within its city limits. The community/region is an example of the problems that have existed in the Rust Belt. Ruthie took pride in working with people in all walks of life to improve reading skills, in addition to her duties at the college.
Portsmouth, Ruthie decided that she wanted us to have a dog for the first
time. We made three trips to the local dog pound. On the third visit
I fondly remember my beloved’s big brown eyes making contact with another
set of big brown eyes. Ruthie told me that, “You can bring home any dog
that you want, this is the dog that I want!” We adopted an Airedale/Afghan
and we named her Muffin. En route home, while Ruthie was driving, I held
Muffin and she marked me!
'Muffin Tales' honor beloved pet Muffin's Obit.
The college expanded
to where we lived, so we moved north about 30 miles to Waverly, OH.
(Ruthie and I both felt that we needed a large fenced-in yard for Muffin.)
We weren’t in Waverly very long when Ruthie became ill with a mysterious
ailment. The medical attention that we received for Ruthie in southern
Ohio was inconclusive with regard to a diagnosis.
'Muffin Tales' honor beloved pet Muffin's Obit.
The college expanded to where we lived, so we moved north about 30 miles to Waverly, OH. (Ruthie and I both felt that we needed a large fenced-in yard for Muffin.) We weren’t in Waverly very long when Ruthie became ill with a mysterious ailment. The medical attention that we received for Ruthie in southern Ohio was inconclusive with regard to a diagnosis.
We received a referral to an outstanding physician in Columbus, Dr. Gary Wise. Within a short period of time this brilliant diagnostician had identified Ruthie’s illness as Stage 4 renal cancer with metastatic sites. The prognosis was not good. Our relationship strengthened at this special time. My colleagues at work (by this time I was working with Martin Marietta; which later merged resulting in Lockheed Martin) donated vacation time so that I could spend as much time as possible with my beloved. Family and friends all came to visit us after Ruthie had come home from Columbus.
All of this best kind of medicine and the expert medical attention unfortunately did not relieve the pain or the symptoms. On December 6, 1993, Ruthie was called home with many of those whom she cared about the most (except for our daughter/dog Muffin) at her bedside.
Early in 1994, after discussions with family and friends, the paperwork was initiated for the establishment of the Ruth Manuta Foundation. This fully tax-exempt public foundation (Federal E.I.N. is 31-1395814.) was based on the experience that we had when Ruthie’s favorite character on “Days of Our Lives” had passed away. (John Black established the Toscano Foundation when his beloved wife, Isabella Toscano, had died of cancer on the soap opera.)
The Ruth Manuta Foundation now supports the Ruth Manuta Memorial Scholarship at Upper Iowa University. The only stipulations for this scholarship are that the recipients be women of non-traditional college age (over 25) and are natives of northeast Iowa. This scholarship is based on need, not academic performance.
An effort is also being made to expand Foundation activities to include literacy programs for children and to increase science fair participation by young people in this area. (These activities also stem from my involvement with the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters agency and the Ohio Academy of Science.) In all of these endeavors the object is to keep Ruthie’s ideals alive.
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