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RUGGLES, Dorothy Ruth (nee Burkholder)

November 24, 1915 – August 9, 2011

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Dorothy Ruth Ruggles on August 9, 2011 at the age of 95 years at Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary.

Ruth was born and raised in Ottawa and Aylmer, Que., the second of four daughters and one son of Franklin Dean and Elizabeth Violet Burkholder. Ruth attended St. Helen’s School in St. Thomas, Ont. and was the valedictorian for her graduating year. She went on to study at RADA in London, England and appeared on stage in the West End prior to the outbreak of WWII. When she returned home she helped the war effort by public speaking for the Red Cross in Ottawa where she met the love of her life John Ruggles. After she married, she had four children whom she adored: Judith Margaret Sprague, Tracy Joanne Griffin, John (Jay) Ruggles and Malcolm. She also continued her interest in theatre, gaining a Certificate of Oratory from Princeton University, directing and producing plays for the Ottawa Little Theatre and writing radio plays for the CBC. Throughout her life she was noted for her great sense of humour. An avid reader, she loved Dickens, wrote Children’s stories and published a Victorian romance, The Tortoiseshell Box, set in the Lanark Valley. In the 1950’s, Ottawa named Ruth Citizen of the Year. Later, when her husband was a development officer in the Northwest Territories, she collected Inuit art. She had many grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and loved and adored every one. Ruth was the only surviving member of her immediate family, predeceased by her mother and father, brother Frank and sisters Margaret, Joan and Helen.

In living memory of Ruth Ruggles, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Mitzi Hauser (nee Fancott) :

    I wish to offer my condolences to Ruth’s family. Though I have only heard of you through my Mother’s (Flo Fancott) many stories, I do know how important Ruth was to my Mother. They shared many happy times together in the Lanark house, and previously at the OLT. I think they also shared time together in Yellowknife, but perhaps it was only with my brother Stephen.
    My mother often tried to find Ruth in Perth but lost track of her. Let’s hope they are already planning their next performance in God’s great theatre on high. My mother Flo passed away at 98 in 2008.

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