Ruth (Ruthe) Craley, previously of Gettysburg and York, Pa., passed away after a short illness in Simpsonville, South Carolina, where she had lived with her youngest daughter the past few years.

The daughter of Lena Schweinberger Fortenbaugh and Robert Fortenbaugh, Ruthe attended Gettysburg schools and graduated from Gettysburg College in 1950, where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority. Upon graduation, she married N. Neiman Craley Jr., of Red Lion, Pa.

Ruthe is survived by her sister Ann Fortenbaugh Eicholtz of Cross Keys. She was predeceased by her brother Robert B. Fortenbaugh, his wife Esther, and her brother-in-law Paul Eicholtz. Children are Sarah Craley of Hagerstown, Md., Nathaniel (Patricia) of Purcellville, Va., Harry (Jamie) of York, Pa., and Stacy Craley of Simpsonville, S.C. She adored her grandchildren, Andrew, Daniel, Cory, Lauren, Dustin, Jeff, and Katy, as well as her eight great-grandchildren. Ruthe enjoyed the friendship and respect of several nieces and nephews.

A woman of many interests, Ruthe was a lifelong supporter of women’s and voting rights, literacy, and equality for all. She was devoted to many causes, and when asked in 2002 how she managed to do so much in the community, she responded, “I have strong beliefs, strong self-esteem, strong opinions. And I don’t worry. If I can’t find a way to succeed, I turn my attention to something I can accomplish.”

A voracious reader, she was an avid traveler and particularly enjoyed visiting areas where the early Romans had settled, a testament to her classical studies degree. She was fond of Elderhostel (Road Scholar) trips and valued the company of family and friends when exploring. Especially proud of the accomplishments of the Johnson administration when her husband, Neiman, served (then Pennsylvania’s 19th District) as Congressman from 1965 to 1967, her passion for politics never ebbed.

Ruthe taught in York City schools from 1967 to 1990 and was a feature writer for York Sunday News. She attended the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York.

Arrangements will be at the convenience of the family at a later date. Should you wish to donate in her memory, a contribution to a charity/organization of your choice or any library would be appreciated by the family, who thank Ruthe’s many friends for their support and for sharing Ruthe’s passions and enriching her life.

Dugan Funeral Home Inc., Bendersville, is handling the local arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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