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521 West Main St
Phone: (413) 663-6523
Ruth Fresia

Ruth Jean Fresia

Monday, October 12th, 1936 - Saturday, October 10th, 2020
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Ruth Jean Raymond Fresia, October 12, 1936 to October 10, 2020
Ruth Fresia, beloved wife of E. James Fresia of Williamstown, Massachusetts, died on Oct. 10 after a long illness. She was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the daughter of Charles and Ruth Raymond. Mrs. Fresia graduated from Darien High School, attended the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Married to Jim Fresia in 1958, she moved with him to Williamstown, where she started her teaching career as a substitute teacher at Drury High School. For several years, she devoted her time to raising her three daughters, while working part-time as a custom dressmaker and as a picture framer, for Gazzaniga’s Wallpaper and Paint store in North Adams. She also volunteered as treasurer of the Northern Berkshire Council of the Arts.
In the 1970s, Mrs. Fresia earned a Master’s in Education from North Adams State College (now MCLA), and joined the faculty as a mathematics professor, where she was tenured and taught for 25 years. She also earned a certificate in advanced mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She was most proud of helping students learn to enjoy the challenges of math.
After her retirement, Mrs. Fresia was deeply engaged in a wide range of hobbies, including golfing, gardening, painting, and cake decorating. For many years she played alto recorder in a quartet based in Williamstown and was part of the hand-bell choir based at St. Patrick’s in Williamstown and St. John’s in North Adams. In addition to becoming an accomplished hand-weaver, she was a published designer of knitwear, and mastered and taught the Japanese art of temari. She excelled in these disciplines, which combined her mastery of fiber arts and mathematics.
Mrs. Fresia is survived by her husband, Jim; her daughters Catherine Ann Fresia of Huntington Woods, Michigan; Carol Jean Fresia (Jeffrey Kogan) of Woodbury, Connecticut; and Anne Elizabeth Fresia, of Essex, Maryland; grandsons Nicholas Andrew Jordan, Zachary James Jordan, and Schuyler Fresia Kogan, and granddaughter Penelope Jean Kogan; and several nieces and grandnieces and -nephews. The Fresia family wishes to thank the staff of Home Instead Senior Care and HospiceCare in the Berkshires, both of Pittsfield, for their compassionate care.
A private service will be held at Flynn & Dagnoli Montagna Home for Funerals, WEST CHAPELS, 521 West Main St. North Adams followed by burial at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Pittsfield. Donations in Ruth’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association through the Funeral Home. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit
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Linda Morgan

Posted at 09:26am
I have happy memories while visiting Carol during college--Ruth working on a knitting project in the living room, brewing tea, engaging fully as we shared with her the trials and tribulations of college life. Ruth was loved by her husband Jim, her three daughters and a wide circle of former students, colleagues and friends. We send our love to the Fresia family and celebrate the joys and accomplishments of Ruth's long and productive life.

Tina Cimini

Posted at 06:58pm
I am so sorry to hear of Ruth passing. She was warm and wonderful! I still have the print that she let me choose, then matted and framed for me, during my visit with you when I was maybe 12. Almost 50 years later, I still love it. It hangs over my bed, and reminds me of that visit with you. That, and the bear in the garage! My condolences. Aloha!

Jacquie Fowler

Posted at 04:28pm
Dear Jim and family-- I am so sorry to hear of Ruths passing. We enjoyed many times together as members of the Green Mountain Weavers and Spinners Guild. She was a talented weaver as well as a valued friend and mentor to all of us. My thoughts are with you. Jacquie Fowler

Sany Bouvier

Posted at 03:03pm
I moved to the Berkshires in January 1976 to be the lead singer in a local band. Needing something to do I stopped in Gazzaniga's art supply store and bought a book on building doll house furniture. Jim asked me to bring in some of my results when I finished. In early August I brought in my collection of doll house furniture. After looking at them Jim said he'd like me to meet someone. He introduced me to Ruth and showed her my furniture. She asked me how I achieved the finish on one particular piece. I was slightly embarrassed to explain that it took several attempts to get to the finished product. She turned to Jim and said, "I think she'd be good at this." The next day I became her student...learning to be a custom picture framer. She was a great teacher and I was a very good student. I quote her all the time about one particular lesson on how to be a great picture framer. She asked, "what is the most valuable skill you need to be good at framing." One might say ,,,color perception or precise measuring or good corners. No...she said (and I quote) "Knowing how to fix your mistakes!" I share that lesson with people all the time. Thank you Ruth, for being part of my life story. Sandy Bouvier

Eileen OGrady

Posted at 09:13pm
My condolences to the family. Ruth was a wonderful woman who never failed to demonstrate an impish sense of humor. I will miss her presence.

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