Ruth A. Yesair, of Byfield, died March 26 at Anna Jaques Hospital, Newburyport. She was 91. She was born Feb. 25, 1931 in Huntington, NY, the daughter of Amos G. and Edna Elizabeth (Parker) Avery. Both of her parents were botanists, and Mrs. Yesair maintained an avid interest in gardening throughout her life. Her garden of rare wildflowers at her and her husband’s home in Byfield attracted widespread interest and visitors from great distances. She was the widow of Dr. David W. Yesair, an eminent lipid biochemist, with whom she shared 53 years of marriage, from 1954 until his death in 2007. Together, they lived in Ithaca, NY, where Dr. Yesair received his doctorate from Cornell; Alabama during his tour of duty in the Army; and England and France during two fellowships. Most of their lives together were spent in Byfield, Dr. Yesair’s native town. They traveled widely and had many friends both locally and around the world. Mrs. Yesair was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Having worked briefly and mysteriously for the CIA in the early 1950s, she later volunteered for many local non-profit organizations. She also assisted Dr. Yesair with the company he founded in 1984, BioMolecular Products, Inc., to research and further develop a lipid complex, originally known as Lym-X-Sorb®, which he had invented. After his death, she served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the firm and lived to see the medical nutrition product commercialized under license as Encala® in 2020.
The Yesairs raised three children together – Karen E. Thiel, of Platteville, CO; Catherine Yesair Gould, of Haverhill; and Peter D. Yesair, of Billerica. She was an avid birdwatcher; 30 years ago, the Yesairs built their dream house in Byfield, where they could watch birds, deer, and other wildlife from their back patio. This led naturally to her last volunteer work at the Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, she had been a board member for The Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association; the Firehouse Civic Center; the Society for the Development of Arts and Humanities; and the Old Newbury Historical Society. Mrs. Yesair was a past chairman of the Newbury Library Trustees and had been a member of the Newbury Historical Commission, for which she coordinated the commemorative book “Images of the Past” for Newbury’s 350th anniversary. Among her many interests were reading, needlepoint, classical music, and entertaining. In addition to her children and their spouses and partners, Mrs. Yesair leaves a brother, Edward Avery, of Arizona and Alaska; and a sister, Nancy Avery, of Ledyard, CT. She was predeceased by a brother, James Avery, and a sister, Susan Avery. She also leaves seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Services, which will be arranged through Conte-Giamberardino Funeral Home, 14 Pleasant Street, Georgetown, will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Ruth’s memory to the Friends of the Newbury Public Library, 0 Lunt Street, Byfield, MA 01922. For those who wish to share a memory of Ruth with her family, please visit www.cgfuneralhomegeorgetown.com
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