Obituary for Ruth Cohn Bollettino


By Sylvia Lowenthal

Ruth Cohn Bollettino, a longtime member of the Coop, died on October 29, 2021 at the age of 89. She succumbed to a long illness sustained during her work at the 9/11 World Trade Center site where she volunteered to provide emotional support and comfort to first responders.

Ruth’s education included a master’s degree in philosophy with a specialization in ethical theory, a topic she taught at Ohio University and the City University of New York. She later earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and worked as a psychotherapist for people dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, trauma, and loss.

She authored the book How to Talk with Family Caregivers about Cancer and published many articles in professional journals on such topics as psychotherapy with people with cancer, dealing with grief and loss, and ethical and spiritual considerations in psychotherapy and medicine.

In addition, Ruth presented numerous lectures, seminars, and workshops in the U.S., England, Israel, Chile, and Argentina for patients, their family members, and health care professionals, as well as supervised psychotherapists in their work with clients dealing with cancer.

True to her commitment to ethics, her work at the Coop included service on the Diversity and Equality Committee, then the CHIPS squad who collected food for a neighborhood food pantry. She also dedicated herself to applying her principles to the moral and political issues that arose in the Coop over the years.

In addition to her other accomplishments, Ruth was a gifted pianist and harpsichordist with a passion for the works of Bach.

Ruth will be greatly missed by the many who knew her over her long life for her generous and optimistic spirit.