95-year-old gives back to her community in her golden years

Rusie loves teaching kids, adults how to read

INDIANAPOLIS - One woman is being honored for staying involved in her community at the age of 95.

Ruth Rusie works with United Way, specifically with their literacy programs, but she said her service goes well beyond that.

Rusie loves teaching people how to read.

"I was a special reading teaching before I retired, and I just couldn't give that up. When I retired I thought, I’m not going to give that up. So that's when I started the adult literacy program here," Rusie said.

Rusie helps adults, and as a volunteer with the United Way's ReadUP program , she tutors children who might be behind their reading level.

Rusie knows her books. She was on the Morgan County Library board for 16 years, and is now on the foundation board. Rusie also helped start the Arts Council and community concerts.

Her golden years are dedicated to community service and her age is not slowing her down from doing what her heart desires. 

"I have season tickets to the Indianapolis Symphony and the IU Opera, and of course, I like to play bridge,” Rusie said.

Rusie is passionate about literacy and she says it’s never too late to learn to read -- even through shame and embarrassment, which she saw in one husband and father.

"He was 40 years old and he didn't want anybody to know that he couldn't read. His wife knew it but no one else, then his daughters got to saying... well read this to me daddy... and he felt that he needed some help and he found out that I would do this," Rusie said.

Rusie said her way of helping others is something she learned as a child.

"For example there was one family that my mother knew of... she even made dresses for the little girls so that they wouldn't be different in school and we took food to them all the time and I just grew up with this type of a background," Rusie said.

Rusie said she no has no plans to stop giving of herself.

"I don't want to rust away. If I just sat I’d... you know... you can't amount to much if you don't do something," she said.

For her hard work and dedication to the community, Rusie was awarded the Jefferson Award.

Click here to nominate somebody for a Jefferson Award -- http://bit.ly/1bB8Cmg

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