LONGTIME FAIRPLEX CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER SUPPORTER DIES
Ruth Hersch was thrilled to attend the 25th anniversary reunion of the Fairplex/University of La Verne Child Development Center in May 2005. The occasion was near and dear to her heart. Hersch was instrumental in the merging of the two childcare centers in 1991, and was an active, ardent and passionate advocate of quality childcare for more than 30 years. She was also a kind and giving individual, described as angelic.
The Los Angeles County Fair Association and CDC lost a friend on Tuesday, Jan. 17, with the passing of Ruth Hersch. Indeed, at the silver anniversary celebration, Hersch received an original work of art completed by one of the children at the center with a designation as lifetime supporter of the CDC.
Hersch was the first child development director at the University of La Verne’s childcare center in 1974 in the Hanawalt House on the campus of ULV. In 1977, the university expanded to provide an infant-toddler program at the Church of the Brethren. Both programs operated until 1991, when they merged with the Fair Association and relocated to the Fairplex facility. Hersch remained active in the program, regarded as one of the top facilities of its kind in California, serving on the CDC board until 2000, when she was named honorary board member.
Stephen Morgan, chairman of the board of the Los Angeles County Fair Association and president of the University of La Verne, has enjoyed a long history with Ruth Hersch, and is familiar with her dedication and her accomplishments. Morgan said, “Our lives and the lives of the children that she affected have been enriched by Ruth’s presence. She is remembered and honored for her commitment and dedication to child development and education.”
Hersch and her husband, Paul, were generous supporters of the CDC, including participation at the annual fundraising auction held each September during the L.A. County Fair.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Paul, three sons, Stephen (Janice), Timothy (Carol) and Peter (Linda), six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Grandsons Chris and Ethan are alumni of the Hanawalt House childcare center.
Services are planned for Monday, Jan. 23, at 1:30 p.m., at Church of the Brethren in La Verne. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Early Childhood Development Scholarship Fund at University of La Verne, c/o Bob Earhart, 1950 Third Street, La Verne, CA 91750, or to the Child Development Center at Fairplex, c/o the Fairplex Development Department, PO Box 2250, Pomona, CA 91769. -30-