BATH City Councilor Ruthe Pargurko takes part in a ceremonial tree planting in Water front Park in this 2010 file photo. On Friday, the 63- year-old was found dead at her home.

BATH City Councilor Ruthe Pargurko takes part in a ceremonial tree planting in Water front Park in this 2010 file photo. On Friday, the 63- year-old was found dead at her home.


A city councilor who devoted much of her life to helping others was remembered last weekend as a devoted public servant.

Ruthe Pagurko, 63, was found dead Friday morning inside her residence at 36 Mechanic St. City Manager William Giroux said she apparently died in her sleep.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, at First Baptist Church in Bath, followed by a reception at the church. Visiting hours at the church will be from noon until 2.

Giroux said people in the community came to know Pagurko because, everywhere they went, they saw her helping people.

Pagurko, a mother of two daughters, had a long list of voluntary achievements, and won the Main Street Bath Presidents Award, the Spirit of Bath Award and the Paul Harris Rotary Award. She worked for several years in day care, and has served on the boards of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Salvation Army and Main Street Bath.

She also devoted herself to senior citizens, and was a member of the Senior Citizens Activities Committee.

“I personally think she did more volunteer work in Bath of anyone I know of,” Giroux said. “If she hadn’t been on the City Council, she would have been chosen Citizen of the Year.”

Councilor Andrew Winglass said Friday he was shocked at the news.

“I’m shocked and saddened,” Winglass said. “I just saw her the other day at the reopening of the skate park.”

Pagurko, who served Ward 7 residents on the City Council for seven years, will be remembered when the council meets Wednesday night.

Foremost, she will be remembered as a woman who loved her daughters and grandchildren, and who gave countless hours of herself.

She leaves behind two daughters, Jennifer Becze and Jamie White. Twin granddaughters Sophie Anna White and Lessie LeRoy White were the apples of her eye. Pagurko’s husband, John, predeceased her.

“Her daughters and her grandchildren — my heart goes out to them,” Councilor Mari Eosco said. “They meant everything to her. She brought pictures to every meeting.”

Eosco spoke late Friday morning from City Hall, where people who had just heard the news were asking what they could do to help the family.

“It goes without saying that this was shocking,” she said. “She’s been a big part of this community for a long time. We’re all really sad.”

City Council Chairman David Sinclair said he and Giroux will work with Pagurko’s daughters to arrange remembrance events, including those at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

“We are going to coordinate this and we are going to subordinate it to the wishes of the family,” Sinclair said. “This is a weighty loss for her family and her larger family within the city of Bath.”

“She’s a longtime civic and community leader,” Winglass said. “It’s hard. One of the things about this council, you do bond in a way that’s somewhat like a family.”

Pagurko also was a trustee at the First Baptist Church, and volunteered at its soup kitchen.

Al Stultz, also a church trustee, said he got a special greeting from her every Sunday.

“She always came over and gave this old man in a wheel chair a hug,” Stultz said. “She was just a lovely, lovely person and involved in everything. I don’t know how she made room for it all.”

Pagurko was a graduate of the former Glen Cove Christian Academy.

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