Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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Ruth Vitanza, 83

Mrs. Ruth Vitanza of Barryville, NY, died Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Belle Reve in Milford, Pa. She was 83.
Ruth was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island on May 19, 1926 the daughter of the late Alvin Lowell Havens and the late Ruth Patterson and step-mother, Ellen Palmer.
She was married on September 25, 1948 to the late Theodore “Ted” Vitanza who passed away on February 14, 2006.
She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Port Jervis.
A family statement read: “Mom’s happiest moments were when she was helping someone else. From her days as a Registered Nurse at the Bronx VA Hospital, where she met that special patient, Dad, (who said “that is the girl I’m going to marry” the moment he saw her), to her many years of faithful service to Epiphany and St. Simon’s Church in Brooklyn and Grace Church in Port Jervis. Mom was honored with the Bishop’s Cross, the highest honor bestowed upon a servant of the church. Mom was a member of the Yulan Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, and was known affectionately as ‘Dr. Ruth’ at the Sunshine Hall Free Library for her skill at covering and mending books. As well loved as we daughters knew we were, their greatest gift to us was their love for each other. What a blessing it is to have them back together again.”
Surviving are daughters: Ruth-Ellen LaRuffa and her husband Tony of Barryville, NY, Elizabeth Northshield and her husband Charles of Rye, NY, and Jane Margeson and her husband Charles of Amityville, NY; grandchildren Ted and Cindy La Ruffa, Bill and Lindsay LaRuffa, Sarah and Steve Hamilton, Andrew and Bryn Northshield, John and Jen Margeson, Toni Ann LaRuffa and Kaitlyn Margeson; great-grandchildren Michael, Allison, Emily, Lauren, Ashley LaRuffa and Mirabelle Northshield.
She was predeceased by her husband, Ted; sister Thyra Fisher; and brothers Alvin and Douglas Havens.
A calling hour will be held Saturday, August 29, 2009 at the Grace Episcopal Church, 85 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
A Mass of Resurrection will be Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 12 noon at the Grace Episcopal Church, 85 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY with The Rev. David Lee Carlson officiating.
Burial will be in Montoza Cemetery, Barryville, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Grace Episcopal Church Building Fund, 84 Seward Avenue, Port Jervis, NY 12771.
Funeral arrangements are by the GRAY-PARKER FUNERAL HOME, 100 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY 12771 845.856.5191. For additional information, directions or to send a condolence note to the family please visit

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