Joyce Marie Connolly Ruth

Joyce Marie Connolly Ruth 1946 – 2020 BRUNSWICK – A wonderful life lived, Joyce Marie Connolly Ruth, 73, passed away peacefully at her home on April 20, 2020 with her husband, children and grandchildren by her side after suffering for many years with Parkinson’s Disease and Diabetes. Born in Brunswick, July 20, 1946, she was the daughter of Shirley E. Moody Connolly and James J. Connolly. She was educated at local schools and graduated from Brunswick High School, class of 1965. She took many child educations courses from The University of Maine to enable her to have the best day care centers, Country Kids Academy for over 30 years and in 1987, McKeen Street Learning Center. She had an enormous heart full of love for children and treated each child as if they were her own. In fact, there are many adults in the Brunswick and Topsham area who are very proud to say that they graduated from Country Kids Academy and McKeen Street Learning Center. Joyce had a lifelong love of all animals. As a child she would always say that she would love to live on a farm so she could have all the animals she wanted. She was an avid horseback rider as a child and was happiest on the back of a horse. She married the love of her life, Larry Ruth in 1974 and together they raised their four children. In addition, she welcomed Larry’s children, Douglas, David and Georgiana from a previous marriage with open arms. Joyce’s principal occupation throughout her adult life was caring for children, to say that she loved all children is certainly not an overstatement. She owned a Day Care Center in Jacksonville, Fla. and later, owned and operated Country Kids Academy and McKeen Street Learning Center. She was able to give assistance to many young single mothers who needed day care for their children. Joyce also worked as property manager for her mother’s apartments. After her retirement, she spent her time doing things with and for her family. She loved gardening and would spend hours working in them; transplanting, weeding and pruning her beautiful flowers. When she was not cooking up a favorite meal for her family, she and her husband were regulars at The Fairground CafĂ© in Topsham. She enjoyed going there and meeting up with her many friends and acquaintances. Joyce was predeceased by her mother, Shirley Connolly, her father, James Connolly; her brother, James B. Connolly, her brother, Ronald J. Connolly; and her stepson, David Ruth. Joyce is survived by her husband, Larry Ruth; a daughter, Jamie Leaton and her husband, Kelly Leaton of St. Petersburg, Fla., a daughter, Jessie Frederick and her husband Kelly Frederick of Lisbon, a son, Joseph Ruth and his wife, Jessica Ruth of Manchester, a son, Jonathan Ruth and his wife, Rebecca Ruth of Topsham, a stepson, Douglas Ruth of Texas, a stepdaughter, Georgiana Ruth of Texas; a sister, Nancy Sherin and her husband John Sherin of Brunswick, a sister, Shirley Myers and her husband Edward Myers of West Va.; granddaughters, Mindy Dow, LaShawna Leaton, Jordan Frederick, Emma Ruth, and Jenna Ruth, grandsons, Skyler Leaton, Joey Frederick, and Bailey Ruth; an aunt, Gloria Elwell; and her cockatiel, Jimmy Joe. She will be sadly missed by her husband, sisters, children, grandchildren, aunt, nieces and nephews and friends. Joyce and her husband were both past members of The Brunswick Rotarians, The Berean Baptist Church, and she was an active member of the 1965 Brunswick High School Reunion Committee. In addition, Joyce and her husband were avid country dancers. They conducted classes at the American Legion in Topsham for many years. They cut a good rug doing the “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”. They enjoyed learning new steps and teaching the art of this dance to others. Joyce loved celebrations of all kinds and loved entertaining her friends and family at their home for holiday meals, barbeques and lobster feeds. She had a huge heart and a talent for making everyone feel welcome. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be made online at In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Midcoast Humane Society in her name.

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