Eastford – Ruth S. Yulo, 83, of County Road, died Tuesday morning, October 30, 2018 at home in the tender care of family and a nurse from the extraordinary Home Hospice team of the Day Kimball Hospital. She was the loving wife of 60 years to Ralph J. Yulo, Jr. Born in New Haven, Ruth was the daughter of the late Ruby (Hand) Surprenant and the younger sister of Kenneth Surprenant, previously deceased.
Ruth is very deeply missed by her husband Ralph J. Yulo, Jr. and their five children and their families: Ralph Yulo, III, of Eastford; Christopher Yulo and his spouse Marcus Butler, resident in Canada; Julie Yulo-Medeiros, her husband Joe of Middletown, and their daughters Mel and Lauren; Melanie Yulo, her husband David Provolo of Guilford, and their daughters Natalia, Ava, and Emmanuelle; and Frank Yulo and his wife Mary of New Fairfield.
Ruth was a strong, creative, intelligent, and sensitive woman who overcame many obstacles in her younger years. Despite early adversities, she looked ahead with hope, confidence, and courage. In partnership with her loving husband, she created a home where they nurtured these same qualities in their children. She was reflective and sentimental, sharing stories of her own loving mother and grandmother, and a network of family including aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, some of whom remain in Connecticut and Michigan today.
Ruth grew up in New Haven and attended Hillhouse High School. Her best friend Nettie (Yulo) Polito introduced Ruth to her brother Ralph, the love of her life. Ruth and Ralph married on August 23, 1958 and started their lives together in New Haven where their first two children, Ralph and Christopher were born. The family moved to the Boston area where Julie, Melanie, and Frank were born. There, Ruth focused on raising the family while Ralph earned his doctorate at Harvard. In 1967, the family moved to Eastford, CT to the home that Ruth knew she loved as soon as she pulled into the driveway for the first time and saw the wonderful yard for her children; she lived there the rest of her life.
After all five children were in school, Ruth went back to school and earned her baccalaureate in 1983 from Eastern Connecticut State University. She was a lifelong learner and earned master’s degrees in Science Education (1986) and Early Childhood Education (1989).
Ruth taught in the Windham Public School System for 19 years, first as a fifth-grade teacher at Windham Center School and then as a second-grade teacher at North Windham Elementary School. She was known for her special ability to help every student become a reader, as well as for her dedication to helping those same children become confident, effective writers.
Ruth had a big heart, helping many people in her quiet way, and she contributed to many charities. She worked hard to help her students achieve academic success but was also sensitive to their personal and social needs—that sometimes meant buying food and clothing for them when she saw the need.
Ruth loved reading and instilled a love of books in her children and grandchildren—even starting an annual summer reading contest for her grandchildren ($0.25 per book). She loved spy and mystery novels and carried a book with her everywhere she went. She was an avid animal lover and had many pets over the years. She especially loved her dogs, including Snoopy, John-John, Bo, and Bailey, her faithful Bichon Frise. Over the years, the family also had cats, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, and even a raccoon. Ruth loved her flower garden and often wore bright colors and floral prints. She planted a tree in her backyard for each grandchild’s birth and enjoyed watching her grandchildren and their trees as they grew and flourished. She had bird and hummingbird feeders in her yard and loved feeding the many birds that visited, and she enjoyed
observing all the deer and other wildlife that passed by her sunroom windows.
After Ruth retired, Ruth and Ralph traveled and she loved learning about the places she visited and getting to know the people she met on her trips.
Ruth loved her grandchildren and enjoyed having them visit and stay for weekends. She always made them scrambled eggs for breakfast and her special potato salad for family picnics. She and Ralph sent them care packages packed with candy and treats for every holiday. Ruth loved the cottage on Crystal Pond they built that allowed the grandchildren to spend many happy days and nights at the lake.
She was a member of the No Name Book Club, the Eastford Communicator, and the Eastford Library Board. She served as Eastford’s Municipal Agent for the Elderly and served on the Board of Corporators for Eastford’s Grove Cemetery. Through these organizations and in other more private ways, Ruth generously contributed her time and resources to building up the community in which she lived.
Funeral arrangements are private and have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church Street, Putnam.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 825 Brook Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067, or to the NRY Scholarship Fund, Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, 83 Windham Street, Willimantic CT 06226.
For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.