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Ruth Prosser Morrissey passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, at home on Aug. 26. She was four months shy of her 100th birthday.
Ruth was born in Dorchester, Mass., then moved to Staten Island, N.Y., at the age of 4, where she lived with her parents, sister and grandmother. As a child, she looked forward to sleeping in on the weekends and escaping the summer heat in a penny theater. After high school, she took the ferry into Manhattan daily to work as a secretary for Combustion Engineering.
She met the love of her life when her father brought home a handsome Coast Guardsman, John Morrissey, for dinner. They married in 1943 and moved to Rhode Island. They settled in East Greenwich, where they raised five children after John completed his service. Ruth built a home full of love. Their door was always open to neighbors, friends, roaming pets and even a beloved exchange student from Norway. Ruth’s congo bars, mac-and-cheese and sheet cakes were crowd favorites. There was always room for at least one more.
You would be hard-pressed to find another soul with such an open heart; the word judgment was not in her vocabulary. And while her kindness extended to all people and creatures, Ruth’s world revolved around her family. Even in her later years, she was reminding us of each other’s birthdays and anniversaries, intent on using every opportunity to celebrate the joy in our lives. To us, she was and always will be the Queen Mother of New England.
She will be remembered for her carbon-copied typewritten letters sharing family news to keep us all connected, her pillow for driving so she could reach the peddles, and the mobile kitchen kept in the car trunk. This included her rolling pin and board that she used for the apple pies she baked “since Hector was a pup.” Most of all she will be missed for the love and devotion she gave to her family.
Ruth is survived by her 5 children – Meredith (Bob), Bruce, Lisa, Todd (Julie) and Richard (Pam) – 10 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren, who will all miss her dearly. She is predeceased by her husband John (Biff), her parents and sister Louise.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the HopeHealth Hospice, 1085 North Main St., Providence, R.I. 02904. Burial and services will be private.