Ruth Chatterton Corcoran died peacefully on April 29, 2023, at the age of 95 at her home in Middletown, RI.
Ruth was born on August 5, 1927, the fifth of six children of Allen and Mary (Connly) Chatterton. Raised in Pawtucket, RI, she moved to Middletown upon her marriage to her husband of 66 years, Edward B. Corcoran. Ruth was a graduate of Jenks Jr. High School and Pawtucket West High School, then attended Pembroke College and the Katherine Gibbs School. She worked for several years at the Providence law firm of Edwards & Angell before her marriage to Ned at the age of 29.
There must have been something in the water because she was pregnant for almost the entire decade of her 30s. Ruth (with Ned’s help) produced 7 children in 9 years. Somehow, she and they survived and life began anew at 40. Tennis became a passion and she played for many years with a terrific group of friends, “retiring” in her early 80s when her knees gave out. She learned to play the piano. She loved to cook and she and Ned entertained groups both small (Friday night fish) and large (Sunday night dinners for any and all who were nearby; think “the fishes and the loaves.”).
Ruth also immersed herself in her community. She and Ned were prodigious fundraisers; they twice chaired capital campaigns for the Newport Hospital, chaired the campaign for the new St. Lucy’s Church and many significant fundraisers for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport. She also served as Newport County chair for Meals on Wheels and drove a route for several decades.
Hers was a simple, elegant and graceful presence. She was always well-dressed and her hair beautifully done. She had high expectations for herself and for others. She was “Precious” to Ned, Ruth to her peers, Mom/Nana to family and Mrs. Corcoran to the rest of the world.
Ruth was predeceased by her husband Ned, who died just 3 months before she did. One anomaly – Ruth was always punctual; Ned was not. Shortly before she died, she gave a wry smile when it was suggested that perhaps she was lingering in her last days because she could finally make Ned wait for her.
She is survived by six of their children and their partners: Ned and his wife Alison Corcoran of Boston, Massachusetts; Julie and her husband Chris Jocham of Eagle, Idaho; Ruthie Corcoran and Robert Pinheiro of Middletown; Allen Corcoran of Middletown; Mary and her husband Ned Truslow of New Canaan, Connecticut; and Jim Corcoran and Cecilia Schilling of Middletown. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Wanda Corcoran, Walter Owen, 17 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son John Corcoran, her sisters Anne McGinn, Mary Hogan and Joan Britton, and her brothers John and Allie Chatterton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 5, at 11:00 am at St. Lucy’s Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, 70 Bath Street, Providence, RI 02908, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County, Inc., 95 Church Street, Newport, RI 02840 or the Newport Hospital, 11 Friendship Street, Newport, RI 02840.
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