Brookline Couple Discovers the Joy in Giving

Larry and Lois RuttmanLarry Ruttman has learned a lot in his 85 years.

He’s had a successful career as a lawyer, and at age 70, he began writing books – most recently, American Jews and America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. But one of the most important lessons Larry learned along the way was about giving.

He describes it like this: “The last part of my life has given me as least as much enjoyment as the first, because I was fortunate enough to be born into a society that placed a value on giving, and then fortunate enough to marry a woman who taught me a lot more about generosity. I’ve found out that giving is just a heck of a lot more fun than receiving.”

When Larry and his wife Lois sat down to do their estate planning, they thought about the causes that have been important to them, like animals and social, educational and Jewish issues. “I really had fun with this. Once I started to put my head to it, I realized that we could do a lot of good,” Larry says.

Lois’ mother, Sophie Raverby, was cared for at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston for ten years, until she died in 2011. Larry recalls the end of her life as peaceful – “an almost seamless passing from life to death.” Larry and Lois want that experience for others, and it’s one that hospice can provide. That’s why they decided to make a bequest to Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care.

Larry hopes that his and Lois’ bequest will inspire others to follow their lead. He says, “One reason we gave to Hebrew SeniorLife is because it’s an organization that takes care of older people, who often in our society are less recognized than in other cultures. We’d like to have a positive impact.”