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Ruth M. Dunnigan, 90, retired music teacher

Updated: April 06, 2010, 6:43 am /
Published: April 06, 2010, 12:30 am

May 8, 1919—April 1, 2010

Ruth M. Dunnigan of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired music teacher, died Thursday in Beechwood Nursing Home, Getzville, from complications of a stroke she suffered a year ago. She was 90.

Born Ruth Goreke in Buffalo, she graduated from Bennett High School in 1935 and from Fredonia Normal School in 1939 with a degree in music education. She pursued graduate studies at the University of Buffalo.

Her 35-year career as an educator began in 1940 as an itinerant music teacher at four Lake Shore School District schools. She then taught in Buffalo Public Schools and in Erie County 1st Supervisory District, Cleveland Hill, Grand Island and Cheektowaga schools. She spent the final 18 years of her career in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District at Brighton, Parkside and Frost elementary schools. She retired in 1975.

An accomplished musician, she was the organist and choir director at Tabor Lutheran Church from 1951 to 1962 and at Kenmore United Church of Christ from 1979 to 1999. She served as a substitute organist at many churches, as well, and was a member of the Lutheran Chorale.

After her retirement, Mrs. Dunnigan served as a member of the board of directors of Young Audiences of Western New York and was a concert reviewer. She also was a member of the Kenmore Garden Club, Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Kenmore Retired Teachers Association, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Fredonia State Alumni Association.

Her husband, Jack, died in 1989.

Survivors include two sons, John and James, and a sister, Irene Rice.

A memorial service will be at 10 a. m. Wednesday in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2669 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.