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Etta Ruth Weigl

Etta Ruth Weigl, 92, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, August 12, 2014, where she lived at Kendal at Oberlin. She was born March 3, 1922 in Weston, West Virginia, the daughter of Karl L. and Kathryn Barnes Hoskins, and the sister of composer William Hoskins, who died in 1997.

Etta Ruth attended West Virginia Wesleyan College, and graduated from Oberlin College with an English Literature degree. Her graduate work at Columbia University gave her an M.S. in Journalism.

She was editor of the employee magazine of American Cyanamid Co. for three years. After marrying John W. Weigl, they lived in Berkeley, California, where John earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and Etta Ruth continued her editorial work, first for the alumni magazine of the University of California, and then for that school's Agriculture Department.

Over the next eight years, three children were born, and as the family moved from Berkeley to Minneapolis to Columbus to Binghamton New York, and then to Webster New York, Etta Ruth worked as a part-time music critic for several papers, edited a weekly poetry column, and volunteered in many local organizations, including the League of Women Voters and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Board. A patron of the arts, she was also an active participant in modern dance. A passionate reader and writer of poetry, Etta Ruth's poetry was published in several small press journals and anthologies, and in the book Meltwater. She taught courses in modern poetry at Elderhostels and also at Kendal at Oberlin, where she lived since 1993 as one of the founding residents. Etta Ruth was always ready for a competitive Scrabble game, bringing her literary mind and extensive vocabulary to bear on her opponents.

Born a Presbyterian, she embraced the Quaker faith and beliefs, and was an active member of the Oberlin Friends Meeting. She was a member of several Kendal committees, the Kendal book and writing groups, the Listening Post in Oberlin Public Schools, and the board and curriculum committee of the Living & Learning Institute.

Etta Ruth’s husband of 35 years, John, died in 1982. Three children survive Etta Ruth Weigl: daughter, Kathryn and husband, John Potter of Nashville Tennessee, son, Karl Weigl and partner, Julie Brand of San Rafael California, son, Andy and wife, Bonnie Weigl, of Southborough Massachusetts. Etta Ruth was blessed with five grandchildren Valerie (Potter) Friedlander, Megan Potter, Christopher (died 12/2012) and Dustin Weigl (by Andy), Nicole Weigl (by Karl), and two great-grandchildren, Morgan and Tristan Friedlander. She is also survived by two nephews and two nieces, one of whom, Karyl Lee, is an Oberlin resident and frequent visitor to Kendal.

A memorial service will be held at Kendal; date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Kendal at Oberlin’s Residents' Assistance Fund, 600 Kendal Dr., Oberlin, OH 44074, or to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Dicken Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Elyria, was in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, visit

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