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Ruth (Schmirer) Monroe

SHARON — Ruth (Schmirer) Monroe of Cornwall Bridge and Sharon quietly passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford on July 10, 2011.

She was born April 17, 1917, the daughter of Emily and Max Schmirer.

She was predeceased by her sisters, Helen and Hazel; her husband, Spencer C. Monroe; and her daughter, Sue (Monroe) Segalla.

She was first and foremost a wife, mother and homemaker.

She was a member of the United Church of Christ Congregational in Cornwall, a member of the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon and an avid member of the Undermountain Country Club in Boston Corners, N.Y.

She is survived by her children, Karen R. Fulco of Lenox, Mass., Wendy L. Segalla of Vero Beach, Fla., Spencer C. Monroe Jr. of Barkhamsted and Scott L. Monroe of Sharon; 13 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 15, at 11 a.m. at the United Church of Christ Congregational in Cornwall Plains, with a reception for friends and family immediately afterward at the Wandering Moose Cafe in West Cornwall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to The Cornwall Volunteer Fire Dept., PO Box 180, West Cornwall, CT 06796; The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, 10 Upper Main St., Sharon, CT 06069; or The Little Guild of St. Francis, PO Box 59, West Cornwall, CT 06796.

Ruth lived a vigorous life, magnetizing animals and friends to her no matter where she went. In her early adulthood, she and her mother drove through the U.S., stopping at various places to “see the world,” earning money as short-order cooks in small coffee shops.

The family lived in Flushing, Long Island, but discovered Cornwall Bridge and Warren through her sister Helen’s husband, Otto. They loved the area so much that their visits turned into weekend and summer stays. It was in Cornwall Bridge where she met Spencer. They married and the couple had five children, Karen Ruth (Fulco), Sue Carol (Segalla), Wendy Lea (Segalla), Spencer Charles Jr. and Scott Lewis.

Ruth was a homemaker, active in the United Church of Christ Congregational in Cornwall, where she helped host many church dinners and headed up many sales and events.

Having a free spirit, she made sure she had time with her girlfriends, playing softball once a week at Cornwall Consolidated School on Wednesday nights with her young children in tow.

On Friday nights, she bowled with her same friends. In 1959 she went to the Capitol in Hartford to accept the Connecticut Mother of the Year Award, while hosting a foreign exchange student from Norway.

When her children grew up and left to have their own families, Ruth took up golf and became very good at it.

After her husband retired as proprietor of Monroe’s General Store, Ruth and Spencer spent time in Connecticut and Manahawkin, N.J., where they built a house off the eighth hole of a special golf club, and played golf regularly.

After Spencer died, Ruth bought a house in Sheffield, Mass., and worked at a dress shop to pass the time.

After a few years on her own, her son Scott convinced her to move closer to him. She spent many happy years in Sharon.

She joined her beloved Undermountain Country Club, where she was active most days after her part-time jobs and was on the winning team with her dear friend and partner, Stacey, two years in a row in the Hotchkiss Undermountain Challenge.

She worked as kitchen preparer at the Ragamont Inn, she was a baker at The Woodland restaurant, she worked behind the counter at the Nutmeg Pantry in Sharon, she dog- and house-sat and was a cook and companion for another dear friend.

All of these jobs she did in her 70s and 80s and she gave of herself 100 percent. She played golf until 2009.

On quiet evenings, she would sit by the fire with drink in hand, dinner simmering on the stove, with the news or golf on television, a book on her lap.

On other evenings, she would eat and drink heartily with her friends and play poker until 2 a.m.

She was independent and made sure to make something out of every day. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved her fun, free spirit, and her own children loved and admired her grit and integrity, her fine meals and her funny antics.

She was respected by everyone who met her and undoubtedly anyone whose path she crossed has a smile and a story about Ruth Monroe.