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Ruth J Lavine

April 21, 1920 - July 25, 2023

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A trailblazing, exceptional woman, who was always ahead of her time. A lawyer, a matriarch, a beloved member of the Los Angeles community, Ruth lived to the wonderful age of 103 while always maintaining her wit, charm, and sense of humor.
Ruth immigrated to Los Angeles from Germany with her parents and sister having left in 1933 as the Nazis came to power. Ruth had been admitted to Oxford and she initially cried when she realized she could not attend her dream school. Arriving in Los Angeles she enrolled in USC and had so many credits she was able to finish her undergraduate education in two years. She then enrolled at USC Law School not realizing that most women did not go to law school in those days. Her younger sister, Laura, followed her to law school. Ruth became a passionate lifelong Trojan.

At UCLA Law, Ruth met the love of her life, Dick Lavine. They were an immediate couple. Dick graduated and joined the Army Air Corps to prepare for war. Dick proposed and when he returned for a short leave on April 12,1944, they celebrated a beautiful, quickly-planned wedding.

Dick went to war and Ruth stayed home and was able to practice law which was not easy for women at that time. Dick came home in 1946 and Cathy was born the next year, followed by Raymond in 1949. In 1952 the family relocated to Germany as Dick was recalled into the service during the Korean War.

Returning to Los Angeles in 1954, Ruth stayed home with her children during their formative years, and then went back to practicing law full time. Although she was a busy practicing lawyer, she never missed a Girl Scout or Cub Scout meeting.
She and Dick had a full life, practicing law separately and then together. They had an immense passion for travel, exploring exotic places that most would only dream of. Dick went to DC in the 70’s to work in the government and Ruth commuted back and forth. They had a full social life in both places.

Ruth was very involved with Women Lawyers, LA County Bar, and the LA County Bar Foundation. She was on the board of Jewish Family Services for many years. She also supported countless organizations near and far. Her philanthropic efforts for USC Law School were
legendary. She was so proud of her scholarship students at USC Law School and met with them as recently as this past May.
After Dick died in 1994, Ruth’s years were filled with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She traveled, went to board meetings, and loved going to grandparent’s days at her great grandchildren’s schools. She would lecture the headmaster about extending the title of the day to “great grandparent’s day”.

She is survived by her children Cathy (Len), Raymond (Barbara); Grandchildren Laura (Randy), Dan (Maura), Amanda; Great-grandchildren Jack, Emma, Nate, Dylan, Henry, Luca
Donations can be directed to Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles or the charity of your choice.

The funeral service will be held on Friday, July 28th at Noon at Hillside Memorial Park 6001 West Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, 90045.