Joan M. Ruete 1933-2021
These are the words that instantly come to mind when we think of Mom (Joan)
Joan was born to loving parents Louise and Jacob Wulforst, March 16, 1933. Four years later, a sister, Marilyn, arrived and here began a life well lived and much loved. She grew up in Glendale, Queens, NY and graduated from Richmond Hill HS in 1950 having taken secretarial courses which served her well throughout her life. In 1951, at the age of 18 she met and married Ray Ruete and lived in Ridgewood, Queens, NY. Soon after the marriage came the first of three children, Patricia (1951-1952). In 1954 a son, Ray Jr., was added and 1955 brought another daughter, Theresa, and so began the journey of Family and Love.
The early years in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, she sewed just about everything, from clothes for her and her children to doll clothes, bedspreads and matching curtains, and included reupholstering furniture to save money. Christmas was a major joy to her and was always a full Family event. Remembering Joan at Christmas is to know that her house was decorated from top to bottom and inside and out beginning at Thanksgiving and lasting well into January. She always believed in Santa!
A move came in 1966 to her first house in Pine Brook, NJ. This move was made to give her children a better education and life outside of New York City. Out in the suburbs she learned to drive and began working first, at home splicing 8-track tape cartridges and later in the office at Montville High School as assistant to the Principal. As her children were involved in sports during high school she went to cheer them on and joined the Montville Mustang Association, a parent run booster organization. Everything was about Family, Love and Children.
Another move came in 1973, moving to Connecticut. She worked at the family owned business, Art Medals, Inc. Her children were grown and off to college. Life took a turn as the business dissolved along with her 25 year marriage. Joan made her final move to Bethel CT in 1978 and embarked on the rest of her journey through life focusing finally on herself and her family. She worked for The American Cancer Society in Danbury, CT and then at Preferred Utilities until she retired in 2001.
The Family continued to grow. Ray was married in 1977 to Diane Pratt and they were blessed with a daughter, Ann Michelle, Joan’s first grandchild, in 1980. In 1981 Theresa married and along came Joan’s second grandchild, Cynthia in 1982. Three more grandchildren were added; in 1983, Stephen, in 1985, Denise and in 1988, Alison. As her grandchildren grew, she got to enjoy seeing each of them experience Love and Family as they married and brought great-grandchildren into her life. Stephen married Anne Gould in 2010 adding Elizabeth (2012) and Jonathan (2015). Alison and Winston were married in 2010 (& 2011) bringing Ava (2011) and Alex (2014) into the Family. Next was Ann Michelle who married Nathaniel Butzer in 2012 bringing Tyler, McKenzie and Xavier into the family. Denise gave Joan her first great-grandchild Christian (2003) and Rose (2008) and then met and married Kristofer McIntosh (2015) to complete her family. And last but never least, Joan’s ‘Best Buddy’ Cynthia married Charles Brown and brought the last little one Irene Joan (2018) to complete the circle of her Family.
Ever present in her life was her dear younger sister Marilyn, her children, Joan’s nephew Joseph and niece, Donna, Donna’s husband Richard and their children Timothy, Danielle and Steven were as close to her and her own children and grandchildren. Marilyn and Joan traveled together with their mother and later with Joan’s daughter Theresa to see the country and the world, but always returning to enjoy the pleasures close to home.
How can we complete the picture of Joan’s life without talking about the Trailer. From 1955 through to today and hopefully for many years to come, through five generations so far, the Trailer has stood for Family, Love , laughter and stability. A three room 1940’s Streamline style trailer is parked near the Big Flatbrook in Branchville, NJ and became the center of summer fun year after year. No running water, indoor plumbing, TV reception or Internet, Joan and Marilyn raised their children there every summer and their children brought the grandchildren and they in turn brought the great-grandchildren. The Joy that the Trailer brought to Joan and her family is immeasurable. To explain it to friends and co-workers it would sound like a palace, but to the family it is even more than that. It represents everything that Joan’s family stands for, everything that she taught them, gave to them and received from them. It centers us in Love and joy and most of all Family.
We would be honored to have all her neighbors, friends and acquaintances join us in remembering her at Bethel Funeral Home, 2015 Greenwood Ave, Bethel CT on Sunday October 17, 2021 between 1:00PM and 4:00PM.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations can be made in her name to RVNA Hospice to whom we are so grateful for their kind and compassionate assistance to Mom during her final journey or to the Amazin’ Mets Foundation as all know that Mom was a Mets fan from day one and continued to enjoy the games through the end of the 2021 season.