Ruth Ann “Rudie” (Arruda) Beers, 70, of Green Avenue, Pawcatuck, left the loving gathering of her children and siblings at Hartford Hospital on Thursday, May 16, 2019 to peacefully join her Lord and beloved pedeceased family and friends in heaven.
Born in New London, CT to the late Anthony T. and Mary E. Arruda, Rudie grew up in the Stonington Borough with her many cousins, a dutiful and bright daughter who excelled socially, domestically, and academically. She graduated Stonington High School in 1966 and remained active in Class activities throughout her life.
Rudie embarked on her professional career one January day in 1966, when Stonington First Selectman and her future mentor Jim Spellman solved a personnel shortage by bringing the promising SHS senior from class to the town hall and promptly entrusted her with responsibility of the Town's $2.5 million budget. She didn't disappoint, either: she stayed at Stonington Town Hall for 35 years, being appointed the Town's First Finance Officer in 1982 and Director of Finance in 1990. Mere months after retiring in 2001, Rudie was called on again to help a troubled municipality when her friend Art Davis, Waterford's Finance Director, suddenly passed away. Rudie stepped into Waterford's Financial Directorship on an interim basis, but stayed on the job for over 13 years. Upon her 2nd retirement in 2013, Rudie was the longest tenured Director of Finance in CT state history, setting budgets and successfully guiding many large public projects in both towns, also serving the region as a past President of the G.F.O.A. of New England.
Outside of work, Rudie was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church, a lifelong member and current Treasurer of the Portuguese Holy Ghost Society Ladies' Auxiliary, a former bowler, avid reader, elite solver of crosswords, and lover of music and theatre. Rudie was a cancer survivor and frequent participant in the Relay for Life. Particular pleasures of hers were annual October Aruba trips with her spiritual sister Sue Cordeiro and other relatives, and hosting Christmas and other family occasions with succulent dishes and the most ornately wrapped gifts imaginable.
Rudie was quick to befriend and slow to judge, the heart of her extended network of family and friends.
Rudie lives on in the hearts of her children, Justine A. Buck of Ashaway, Erin M. Buck of Riverside, RI, and James W. Lancaster, III of Boston, MA; her son by choice Shave Avery of Ft. Pierce, FL, as well as four siblings, Thomas (and Kim) Arruda, Cheryl (and Peter) Holden and Barbara Thayer, all of Pawcatuck, and Mark ( and Wendy) Arruda of North Stonington. Rudie is also survived by two grandchildren, Sophia M. and Phoebe A. Buck of Westerly, Aunts Isabelle Nasatka and Vivian Wannacott, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her firstborn, daughter Mary Virginia Buck.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday from 5-8pm at Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly. A Funeral Liturgy will take place at 11am on Wednesday at St. Mary’s Church, 95 Main St., Stonington. There is no procession from the funeral home to church.
Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery, Pawcatuck. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Portuguese Holy Ghost Society Member's Scholarship Fund, 26 Main St., Stonington, CT 06378 in Rudie’s memory. For online condolences please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com