Ruth Newman

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Ruth Newman, age 94, on 22 Oct 2011

Ruth Beatrice Newman (nee Coulter) (2 July 1917 - 20 October 2016) was an award-winning pianist, insurance claims adjuster, and longtime widower from Canada.

Early life

Ruth was born in Calgary, Alberta, on 2 July 1917 to Reverend Joseph Coulter and Williamina Bessie Coulter.

ARCT prize ceremony, 21 October 1941

She received the Associate, Royal Conservatory Toronto (ARCT) teaching diploma in a ceremony on 21 October 1941. She received the prize for top marks that year.

Marriage and family

She married Bruce Newman on 10 October 1942 and had three children by him:

On 27 June 1968, after 25 years of marriage, Ruth was widowed when Bruce died suddenly at age 50. She never remarried. Ruth kept a photo of Bruce by her bedside for the rest of her life.

Ruth has 10 grandchildren:

  • By Sandra: Megan, Meredith, Laura, Patrick
  • By Evelyn: Alexander, Vanessa, Andrew, Stephen
  • By Mary Ann: Michael, Carolyn

As of 2018 she has 9 great-grandchildren:

  • By Meredith: Charlotte, Aria (born 6 July 2016)
  • By Vanessa: Brynn (born 6 January 2014)
  • By Andrew: Benjamin, Holly, Dominic, Bridget
  • By Carolyn: Cole, Bentley (both born 31 December 2017)

Thus, all her blood descendants remain alive, and they number 3 + 10 + 9 = 22.

Timeline

2 July 1917 Born in Calgary

July 1923 Moved to Jasper Park

July 1927 Moved to Little Current, Manitoulin Island

July 1931 Moved to Scarborough Junction

July 1933 Driver's License

21 June 1938 she took her Grade 10 Royal Conservatory piano exam.

July 1938 Parents moved to Sunderland, so she began boarding on Milverton Boulevard.

1941 Parents moved to Waverly Boulevard, to retire when father was 70. They inherited $7000 from the hermit (!) bachelor uncle of mother. Grandmother came to live with them.

19 June 1941 she took her ATCM piano exam.

21 October 1941 she convocated and won a prize.

17 March 1942 The St. Patrick's Day Dance. She played piano. She met Bruce.

June 1942 She was engaged to be married

10 October 1942 Married Bruce Newman.

October 1942 Flat at 2040 Gerrard Street East, Toronto.

July 1944 Bruce and Ruth purchase a house on Don Mills, move to a bungalow in Leaside, Don Mills, for 5 years.

Around this time, Bruce was working at Sangamo Company Limited:

This company, originally located at Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue where a Canadian Tire is currently found, began producing electric meters in 1904. Displayed above their buildings, clearly marking their presence to the public, was a large rotating oval sign. Their electric meters, designed to measure watt hours of hydro consumption, were exported to 16 countries, including Mexico, Portugal, Africa, Central America, and Japan. Sangamo products were designed by Canadians, manufactured in Canada, made from Canadian materials and used by Canadians every day of the year in every province. The company had plants in Leaside and Three Rivers, Quebec, with sales offices in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton. The Leaside plant covered 180,000 square feet and had employed 825 people. In 1970, Prestolite acquired the Sangamo Motor Division which was located in Sarnia, Ontario. ... Some time later, Sangamo moved to Guelph, Ontario.
— Toronto Neighbourhoods 7-Book Bundle: A City in the Making / Unbuilt Toronto ... By Mark Osbaldeston, F.R. (Hamish) Berchem, Frederick H. Armstrong, Scott Kennedy, Jane Pitfield [1] [2]

18 July 1948 Mother died of complications during gall bladder surgery. Grandmother died soon after, of a broken heart.

July 1949 Applebee Road in Islington (5 years) (Bruce working Hydro Job)

July 1954 Don Mills, 7 years (Bruce back to first company, Sangamo motor company)

1960 Father dies.

1961 Guelph (1 year)

1962 Toronto, Tan Valley ("beautiful house!" - Ruth)

1963 Guelph

27 June 1968 Husband Bruce dies

Apartment from July 1968 to March 2010 (over 41 years): 18 The Donway East, 2nd floor.

July 1968 Move into apartment, second floor, 18 The Donway East, Don Mills, Ontario.

1982 Visits Thunder Bay to help her daughter Mary Ann raise her son, infant Michael Currie

Circa 2002 Stops driving her very old white car (model?)

2003 January to April, September to December - lets her grandson Michael Currie live with her in the second bedroom.

Later life

From July 1968 to March 2010, she lived on her own in a rented apartment at 18 The Donway East, in Don Mills, Ontario. Her phone number for those years was 416 444 6583.

Having moved over a dozen times in her life, perhaps she was tired of decamping on a regular basis, and so she chose to remain in place for a long time.

On 1 July 2007 she celebrated her 90th birthday at her daughter Sandra's home in Speyside, Ontario, between 13:00 and 17:00. The invitation letter to the family, from granddaughter Megan Kenzie, read in part:

The 90th Birthday of Everyone’s Favourite Relative:

Our lady of Don Mills, The Former High Jump Champion of Manitoulin Island, Piano Player Extraordinaire, Mother of the Newman Girls, Grandma, Great-Grandma, sister, sister-in-law, aunt…

Ruth Newman !
— Megan Kenzie, July 2007

In 2010, a series of strokes forced her to be moved out of her longtime residence in Don Mills.

She initially moved to Greenview Lodge, 880 Lawrence Avenue East, just up the street from her apartment.

The mothers have gone through everything from Grandma's apartment. Some stuff has gone with her. Special/valuable/nostalgic/useful items have been distributed between the mothers. Attached are a few photos of some of the things that are left. See following email for second set of pics. We are trying to clear most things out of the apartment this week, and the rest by mid-April. Let me know if you want anything you see here, and we will keep it.
— Email, Megan Kenzie, 21 March 2010

Later in 2010, she moved to Allandale Long Term Care, in Milton Ontario. She remained there for the next 6 years, with frequent visits and extra care provided by her daughter Sandra, who was living and working nearby.


Death

She died 20 October 2016, at age 99, in her 100th year.

Sources

Self

Timeline was described to her grandson Michael Currie personally in 2003.