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Ruth Clara Russell

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née Matheson

December 18, 1922 – February 14, 2019

It is with heartfelt sorrow that we announce the passing of Ruth on February 14, 2019 at Centenary Hospital in Toronto.

Born and raised in Toronto to the late Kenneth Matheson and Lottie Cummings, Ruth was the youngest sister of Ann, Donald, Jack, Jean and Mary. She grew up with a fondness for Kew Beach and shopping on the Danforth.

Ruth was a leading light in Toronto footwear: as a young woman, she worked at The Room at Simpson’s and charmed the likes of Katharine Hepburn and other luminaries. Of course, they all bought shoes from her. In later life, Ruth was an owner, and the lead buyer, of Russell Shoes with her beloved husband, the late Kenneth Russell.

Ruth enjoyed many wonderful years with Ken: they spent their summers exploring the lakes of Ontario on their cabin cruisers, including a stunning boat that was christened the “Ruthie R”.

An exemplar of sophisticated elegance and good manners, Ruth always appeared with styled hair and a refined outfit. She was a talented decorator, with an eye for colour, and she enjoyed many day trips around Toronto and to towns like Beeton (the birthplace of her mother) hunting for treasured trinkets to add to her vast collection.

Ruth was a remarkably strong, independent and decorous woman. She faced adversity with grace and provided support to others without hesitation.

Ruth was the much-loved matriarch of her extended family and will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all. Mother of Keith Bullen (Mary), Neil Bullen (Iris) and the late Barry Bullen (Joanne). Grandmother of Jason (Kyla), Jody (Dale), Bryan (Kristen), Glen (Marilyn), Claire and Emma. Great-grandmother of Alexandra, Andrew, Benjamin, Claire, Lucas, Ripley, Rowen and Samantha. Aunt to Jackie Walker (Peggy), Lenore Walker, Mary Lou Hillis (Ken), Wendy Wood, James Russell and Rod Matheson (Bruni).

Cremation has taken place and interment will be at St. John’s Norway Cemetery. In keeping with Ruth’s wishes, there will be no funeral; instead, we will hold a celebration of her life in the Spring of 2019.

Given Ruth’s love of the lakes and waterways of Ontario, please consider a donation to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper: http://www.waterkeeper.ca/

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