Charles E. Smith

Life Communities

Ruth Dingenthal, 2008

Meet Ruth: A Woman of Many Hats

The Hebrew Home welcomes Ruth, a vibrant lady for whom the phrase "been there, done that" seems to have been custom created.

Ruth is a WWII Air Force veteran who once exchanged salutes with General Douglas MacArthur. At the conclusion of the war, an interest in exploring the healing arts led her to enroll in the Swedish Institute of Physiotherapy and Massage in New York. After receiving her license, she worked in a hospital physiotherapy department and at various Catskill resorts. Motivated to expand her skills and have some adventure, Ruth signed up with the Moore-McCormick Steamship Company to travel the world as a ship's masseuse. During stops at Scandanavian ports, Ruth took advantage of every opportunity to meet with Swedish massage experts who introduced her to innovative treatments and techniques.

Back in the USA, Ruth applied her enhanced credentials to building a successful career as the manager of a popular health club at Miami's tony Sea Coast Towers. She established a reputation for superior service that attracted scores of admirers seeking the soothing benefits of her restorative massages and beauty treatments. Twenty years later, Ruth felt it was time for a new direction; she became a Florida real estate agent and travel agent.

There is another side to Ruth. Aided by her beauty, striking height (6 feet, which had earned her membership at the New York Stratoliners Club for Tall People), and a natural stage presence, Ruth savored occasional stints as an actress. She landed small roles as an "extra" in countless films, and had the time of her life rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars. 

Ruth's proudest achievement, however, was her appointment as the first woman to command Florida's Dade County Council of the Jewish War Veterans. As Commander, Ruth visited her Posts, marched in Veterans and Memorial Day parades, installed officers, and regularly visited patients at the Miami VA Hospital.

Ruth hails from the Bronx, where she was born February 2, 1921. As she settles into the Wasserman Residence, we look forward to getting to know this vivacious individual who, having worn many professional hats, also enjoys topping off an outfit with a stylish chapeau...and a string of colorful beads.

Dingenthal, WWII Ruth Dingenthal, 1945


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