YEIGH email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-23 published
Spiritual adventurer, gourmet vegetarian cook, film Connoisseur, beloved partner, cherished friend. Born January 1, 1945, in Buffalo. Died March 1 in Toronto following cardiac arrest, aged 63.
By Carol LATIMER, Cindy MIFSUD, Clara CHAN, Dorothea HUDEC and Liz YEIGH, Page L6
Ruth was born on New Year's Day, and for the rest of her life she embraced new beginnings with enthusiasm.
She and her older brother, David, were preacher's kids, born to Ellen McKay TRIMMER and Rev. Vincent TRIMMER. Growing up in a strict Baptist household had its challenges for Ruth. All her life she was both a spiritual seeker and a rebel.
Ruth once claimed she'd been a member of nearly every major religion on earth, and probably a cult or two, but there was nothing superficial about her search for meaning. She lived as she believed, at one time giving up a comfortable job to become a mother's helper to a single parent with two autistic children.
Her career eventually took her to the Ontario public service, where her work in probation and then policy expressed her belief that people were essentially good and should be helped, not punished. She felt intense empathy for anyone who suffered.
Ruth came home in every sense of the word when she met Jean DEETH. She became an important part of the Deeth family, and also stayed connected to her brother David and his children and grandchildren in the United States.
Ruth and Jean shared 25 years of travel, summers at the cottage on Oak Lake, Ontario, and movie-watching each September at the Toronto International Film Festival. They gave fabulous dinner parties, cooking vegetarian meals that impressed their most carnivorous Friends. Their beloved dogs were their delight, and Ruth defended even their worst behaviour. Maggie wasn't a biter - she had "high prey instincts."
When Ruth was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, she responded with her characteristic courage and intelligence. She researched everything and sent around her chemo schedules so Friends would know when she was up for a dinner party and when she wanted someone to go to chemo with her. When she got a clean bill of health in 2004, she and Jean threw a huge party.
Her experience with cancer led her back to school, studying for her master of arts in ministry and spirituality at Regis College at the University of Toronto, and training as a pastoral counsellor and spiritual adviser. An intern at Toronto's Christian Counselling Services, she described counselling clients as the most fulfilling work she had ever known.
Ruth's unexpected death came as a shock. We will miss her infectious grin, her wild taste in shirts and, most of all, her exuberant and contagious excitement and satisfaction with life. We were so lucky to have known her.
Carol LATIMER, Cindy MIFSUD, Clara CHAN, Dorothea HUDEC and Liz YEIGH are Ruth's Friends.
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