Floral 14

Ruth C. (Curtis) Joy

May 28, 2020


Ruth C. (Curtis) Joy. 91, a resident of Needham, died after a lengthy decline on May 28, 2020.

Ruth was born in Portland, Maine. 

Her father was Dr. Harry L. Curtis, a urologist.  Her mother was Alice Curtis, a nurse.  She had two younger siblings, Dorothy aka "Dot", and Harris aka "Bud".  They had a beloved near-family household assistant, Pearl Flewelling.

She often spoke of her cat, Vicky, and their dog, Redstar.  She had a lifelong best friend, Elsie Lindblom.  Ruth was a great friend of Reggie and Shirley Myers.  Ruth was close to her cousin Wilma Hovey.  She was also extremely close to her sister-in-law Madeleine.  With the exception of Madeleine, all of them have passed.

She attended Portland High School and later the University of Maine, Orono.  She was a member of Tri Delta Sorority.  She graduated in 1951 and worked for AT&T as a Senior Account Representative.  She met her future husband, Wendell

Joy, there who coincidentally attended the same college.  They married and moved to Massachusetts.  Shortly thereafter, they moved to Needham where her brother, Harris "Bud" Curtis, and his wife, Madeleine, also lived.  The Joys raised two sons, Steven and David.  Later in life she had a part time career with a Needham microfilm company.

She attended Christ Episcopal Church in Needham and later in life was involved in its Steeple Exchange program.

Ruth had a love of antiques.  This was a common interest with her husband.  She was also particularly fond of antique dolls; this was a common interest with her beloved aunt, Elizabeth C. White, aka "Auntie".

Ruth loved to "ride and ride" in the car.  This trait seemed to be common to her father and "Auntie".  She was a huge fan of dining out at restaurants; seafood was a common choice for an entree.  Ice cream was a popular choice as well.  Countless trips were made to Bubbling Brook in Walpole, Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon, and Dairy Queen in Cochituate (I am sure she would recommend DQ's decadent "Peanut Butter Bash" which is available but not listed on the menu).  Locally, she enjoyed the beach in Marshfield and Hopkinton State Park.

Ruth was very family orientated and loved to talk and visit with them.  Holidays and birthdays with her nephew, Harry Curtis, and niece, Betsy Gamrat, were always grand events.

Although she lived in Needham for over fifty years, her heart was always in Maine.  She loved her trips to Maine.  Once each summer, she would visit her brother "Bud"; his wife, Madeleine; her sister, "Dot"; her husband, Mitch; and occasionally her niece, Karen; and husband, Phil; and daughter, Michelle.  Ruth enjoyed the pretty places is Maine particularly Sebago Lake, Old Orchard Beach, and Bailey and Orr Islands.  She loved to go past assorted homes and businesses of days past and point out what happened where.  Yearly trips were made on Memorial day to plant flowers at the graves of loved ones.  Virtually all trips in Maine started and ended with a drive by peeping of her childhood home on Congress Street in Portland. 


Ruth's mental status was in decline for approximately the last fifteen years.  She was able to function for a while at home, but in late 2017 transferred to a nursing home.  Ruth believed her mother and father were still with us.

She often asked how her late mother was doing and wanted to make sure she was being taken care of. 

2020 was a difficult year for her.  Ruth was hospitalized twice in January.  She nearly passed during her second visit.  The doctor was surprised that she had the strength to pull through.  Ruth had a very happy and lucid birthday this year.  Unfortunately, Ruth contracted COVID in April.  She actually survived 6 weeks with the virus, but the virus took its toll.  She spent a couple of weeks in hospice.  She was mostly comfortable during this period.  Ruth had a few days where her mood was excellent.  Hospice allowed family visits and family photos.  The pictures of her two sons and her parents seemed to greatly comfort her.  We had several sunny days which lifted her spirits.  Many prayers were said at his time.

Ruth is survived by her son, Steven, of Needham and her son, David, of Newton.  She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Mitch, of Rochester, NY, and her sister-in-law, Madeleine, of Portland, ME.  She is survived by Nephews Harry Curtis, and Peter Salim, and nieces Betsy Gamrat, Karen Luvisi, and Pam Markowski.  She has several grand-nieces and grand-nephews as well.

She will be missed greatly.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth C. (Curtis) Joy, please visit our floral store.


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