Photo courtesy Laurie Gaboardi, Litchfield County Times
New Milford, CT, February 25, 2014 – “On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Silo and Hunt Hill Farm Trust, it is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our founder, inspiration, spirit and dear friend, Ruth Henderson at her home on February 25, 2014,” said Arthur C. Weinshank, President of Hunt Hill Farm Trust.
She was preceded in death by her husband Skitch Henderson in 2005, and is survived by her daughter Heidi, son Hans, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many friends.
Ruth was a passionate leader and a visionary, and together with her late husband Skitch, preserved 130-acres of Hunt Hill Farm as permanently protected open space, working with the Town of New Milford, the State of Connecticut and area land trusts and conservation organizations. Ten of the farm’s buildings, including The Silo are on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2003, the Hendersons also founded the non-profit Hunt Hill Farm Trust – a Smithsonian Affiliate – to continue their cultural and artistic legacy of music, visual, performing and culinary arts, farming, and historic preservation, donating The Silo buildings to the Trust.
Ruth was born on January 12, 1930 in Planen, Germany. She came to the United States in 1951, marrying Skitch, then the Music Director and Conductor of NBC’s Tonight Show in 1958. For more than a decade, beginning in the late 1960’s the couple owned and operated a number of restaurants in New York City, Garrison, New York and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
In 1968, Ruth and Skitch moved to Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford, CT where, in 1972 she founded and served as President and Owner of The Silo, Inc., Store, Gallery and Cooking School. In 1983, she helped found The New York Pops and served as its President to the present day.
Liba Furhman, Executive Director of Hunt Hill Farm Trust said, “Ruth has been a mentor and guiding light, not only for Hunt Hill, but for much of New Milford and Litchfield County. She had a celebrated commitment to helping people as evidenced through her volunteer work at the New Milford Hospital Foundation, as a founding member of the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, advisory board of The Community Culinary School, and New Milford’s Commission on the Arts and its Park and Recreation Commission. She gave freely of her time and her expertise to so many causes and organizations. She was truly a Grand Lady.”
Hunt Hill Farm is forever grateful to Ruth for her ability to see the potential, for her foresight and planning, for her intrepid and dogged perseverance and for the great legacy she leaves behind.
A memorial service is planned for the Spring.
Out of respect for the passing our founder, Ruth Henderson, the Saturday, March 8, 4 p.m. is postponed to a date to be determined to coincide with the 2015 premiere of Season Five of Downton Abbey.
Thank you for your understanding.
“Voices of Poetry / On the Farm”
Sponsored by the New Milford Commission on the Arts.
There is no charge, but reservations are requested. Click here to reserve your seat(s) or call (860) 355-0300. “Artists Meet and Greet” will be held following the program.
News Articles Celebrating Ruth Henderson’s Life
Photo courtesy Rich Pomerantz
Click to read the News-Times
Click to read the Litchfield County Times
Cick to read and hear WAMC.
Out of respect for the passing our founder, Ruth Henderson, the Saturday, March 8, 4 p.m. Downton Abbey Champagne Afternoon Tea is postponed to a date to be determined to coincide with the 2015 premiere of Season Five of Downton Abbey.
Thank you for your understanding.
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Voices of Poetry - On The Farm
May 4, 2 p.m.
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or call (860) 355-0300.