Ruth Joy Schmitt of East Hampton, 79, died last Thursday morning at her house on Accabonac Road after an illness of two weeks. The family said she had been diagnosed with a possible liver-related illness a year ago.
Born on Dec. 28, 1934, in College Point, Queens, to Ruth Ruddock Weiss and Charles Weiss, she grew up in Flushing, and graduated from Flushing High School. She was married in 1956 to Robert Lockier. The couple had three children, Charlene Bishop, Joseph Lockier, and Steven Lockier, all of whom live in East Hampton.
After they were divorced, in 1964, she and the children moved to East Hampton, following her parents, who had moved here earlier.
The Weisses “had bought a house on Gould Street,” Ms. Bishop recalled, “and then they bought Three Mile Harbor fishing station, where you could rent a rowboat for five dollars.”
Her grandfather gave her mother “a little down payment,” Ms. Bishop remembered, to buy a house on Accabonac Road. “She was a single mother with three children, very brave and strong, a strong woman.” A great supporter of women’s rights, “she was an organizer of local NOW and held meetings at her house,” her daughter said.
Ms. Schmitt, who married Valentine L. Schmitt in 1968, worked at the Suffolk County National Bank in East Hampton from 1964 to 1974, then ran Second Nature, the health food store on Newtown Lane, for 10 years. She also worked as a manager of the North Fork Bank. Her husband died in 1989.
In her free time, said Ms. Bishop, she liked to paint and to garden. She particularly loved orchids, her daughter said, and was a great reader, usually with “three books going at once. Mysteries — she read every mystery, and she loved old movies.”
In addition to her children, Ms. Schmitt is survived by one grandchild. She also leaves a sister, Judith Eames, who lives in Quogue.
Her life will be celebrated at a family gathering, and her ashes will be buried in Most Holy Trinity Church’s cemetery.