A Memorial Mass for Ruth Thomasine Brinzo (08/05/1946 – 10/15/2017) was held at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Spring Hill on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. with placement at Florida Hills Memorial Gardens immediately after the service. Ms. Brinzo was a beloved retired math and computer science teacher in the county. When service information was announced on social media, many of her former students posted cherished stories, memories and condolences.
Ruth T. Brinzo lived in Weeki Wachee and was employed with Hernando County Schools from 1968 to 1999. Most of her career was at West Hernando Middle School. She also taught at Pasco Hernando State College. Many locals remember her fondly as their computer programming instructor at PHSC (then PHCC) back in the 80’s!
Hernando County Schools Public Information Officer, Karen Jordan, remarked, “Ruth Brinzo was a respected math educator who made learning a priority without sacrificing fun. Her students at West Hernando Middle knew she cared about them and that she cared about their success. Tireless and gifted in her work with students, Ruth epitomized what all professional educators aspire to be.”
Even though Ms. Brinzo had a reputation for being quite stern, she was also known for being highly intelligent, innovative, and hard-working. She worked long hours to make math interesting and fun. She was always interested in computers and promoted incorporating technology in the classroom. Eventually, Ruth trained other teachers on how to utilize computers and technology as part of their curriculum.
Always innovative and creative, when she taught summer computer camps, Ms. Brinzo organized scavenger hunts for her students at theme parks and colleges. The students were guided around these locations, encouraging them to have fun while learning.
Many of her former students took to social media to express condolences and recount the tales of this amazing woman. Sumter County Judge Paul Militello recounts, “She was a good teacher. She had a reputation of being ‘tough’ in junior high as I recall. Although I never had her until college. I remember enjoying that college class and she was a lot of fun. Sorry to hear about her passing.” Timothy Liguori, another of her former students states, “Ms. Brinzo was a brilliant teacher! Even after we moved on to higher grades, she was willing to provide help to guide you through more sophisticated math problem challenges.” And Al Stewart says, “Mrs. Brinzo was one of my favorite teachers. For me, she had a way of making math easy and somewhat fun. God rest her soul.” Another former student, Greg Dill, jokes that because of Ms. Brinzo “[I] Did proofs until my fingers bled QED.”
With such a long and exemplary career and a reputation of being innovative and creative yet stern to make sure they got it right, Ruth Thomasine Brinzo will surely be missed by many people. She will always be remembered for all the lives she touched over the years.