SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ruth Goldsmith, former member of South Charleston City Council and community leader, has died at the age of 89.
Goldsmith, who would have turned 90 on Jan. 17, died peacefully at 8:41 p.m. Tuesday surrounded by family, said her daughter, Karen Johnston, of Kanawha City.
Goldsmith served on South Charleston City Council from 1969 to 1980 and then was a Republican member of the House of Delegates from 1980 to 1982.
She served on the Legislative Task Force for Human Services, Kanawha Arts Alliance Board, Kanawha County Bicentennial Commission, and Board of Kanawha Valley Day Care Centers for the Elderly. She was on the advisory committee for the West Virginia Women's Commission and served on the Board of Directors for Goodwill.
Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Goldsmith was an advocate for improving her community and played a strong role in the building of Joplin Park. He said she saved the city thousands of dollars by convincing construction crews to donate fill dirt for the park.
"She was civic minded and worked on our parades and recreation board," he said. "I would see her at the grocery or post office and she would talk about Joplin Park. It is beautiful and a major improvement to our town."
Goldsmith was a woman who was always ahead of her time, her daughter said.
She grew up in Bluefield and earned a degree in industrial pharmacy from West Virginia University. She majored in industrial pharmacy with a minor in chemistry.
"She was quite a swimmer," Johnston said. "They asked her to train for the Olympics."