08/29/2012 06:14 EDT | Updated 10/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Ruth Goldbloom, Halifax philanthropist, dies at 88

Ruth Goldbloom has died. She was 88-years-old and well known for a variety of causes in Nova Scotia, most notably for championing the Pier 21 museum.

Goldbloom had been fighting cancer.

She was born Ruth Schwartz in New Waterford, Cape Breton. Her grandparents were Russian immigrants.

She went to university at Mount Allison and McGill, married and began raising her family in Montreal. The Goldblooms moved to Halifax in 1967.

One of her early causes was volunteering at the IWK Children's Hospital.

Goldbloom also chaired United Way Campaigns and Dalhousie University's Annual Fund, among other appointments.

In early August, she and her husband Richard, were honoured for their long-term support of Symphony Nova Scotia.

Though she donated her time to a number of causes, it was her determination to create an immigration museum for which she'll be best remembered.

Goldbloom helped raise $16 million over 20 years for Pier 21 to transform it from a derelict building, "to become the second museum outside of Ottawa to be a national museum of immigration," said Goldbloom during a 2009 interview.

"It's the diversity of our immigrant population that brings life to our country."

Goldbloom was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. She has received at least six honorary degrees and numerous awards for her volunteer service.