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Obituary of Ruth Leslie Steeves
Surrounded by her loving family, Ruth Leslie (Bell) Steeves peacefully entered the presence of her Lord on February 6, 2024, one week shy of her 90th birthday.
The youngest of five children, Ruth was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, to the late George “Leslie” and Ruth (Murray) Bell on February 13th, 1934. When she was young the family moved to nearby Lewisville, where she would live the majority of her life. It was here at age 16 she began spending more time with Lawrence “Steevie” Steeves, who would become her loving husband of almost 68 years. They married in March 1956 despite a terrible St. Patrick’s Day storm – a story she loved to recount year after year.
Ruth was a caregiver in every way. Within her own home she looked after the needs of her four children, her husband and his mother, all the while checking in on her own mother and father who lived just next door. During the day you could always find her in her kitchen, where she would often take telephone calls while preparing delicious meals – the consummate multitasker. But it was at night that she really kicked into gear, likely because this was the only uninterrupted time when she could finish her laundry, work on her countless sewing projects and sit at her typewriter to prepare notes for her volunteer meetings. She was a well-respected neighbour and held many roles in her community, including part-time librarian at Pleasant Street School. It should be noted that her own vast collection of books and magazines puzzled her children, considering she never had time to read any of them. With such a busy lifestyle, efficiency was key: she hated sitting at traffic lights, which she avoided by figuring out every possible shortcut around the city of Moncton.
Ruth shone in her role as Nannie to her twelve grandchildren, and later ten great-grandchildren. She demonstrated her love in many ways: attending every play and concert, providing lullabies and back scratches, and offering a seemingly endless supply of sugar and sweets. She had an uncanny ability to keep on top of all the extended family birthdays and anniversaries, which she made extra special with her elaborate custom cakes. While being closer to family eventually led her and Steevie to move to Fredericton, many of her grandchildren’s fondest memories were at the family cottage at Edgewater in Shediac Bridge.
Ruth was a strong woman of faith whose life was defined by a desire to exemplify Christian love and compassion. While a member of Lewisville Baptist Church, she organized and executed countless church dinners and fellowship events. If ever anyone had doubts about how to feed a crowd of one hundred, they could count on Ruth and her committee members. She had a special passion for ministering to children and offering training for young adult leadership. In her later years she was a member of Grace Memorial Baptist Church in Fredericton.
Ruth will be deeply missed by her husband Lawrence R. Steeves; her children: Ann Stone (Bob) of Shediac Bridge, NB, David Steeves (Leah) of Fredericton, NB, Barbara Gallant (Gary) of Fredericton, NB, Carolyn Landine (Rick) of Fredericton, NB; her grandchildren: Jonathan Stone (Kaye Esperat), Amy Stone (Ryan Turner), Meghan Stone (Dmitri Bandet), Robbie Stone (Tamara Cable), Rebecca McKinley (William), Anna Steeves, Bethany Steeves, Joell Gallant (Becky), Aram Gallant (Paige), Sam Gallant (Nicci), Alex Landine, Joey Landine (Sarah); and her great-grandchildren: Carly, Borden, Rosie, Jack, Charlotte, Audrey, Autumn, Lyla, William and Grace. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews who share fond memories of visits with their favourite Aunt Ruthie.
In addition to her parents, Ruth was predeceased by her siblings: sisters Elizabeth MacMillan (Don), Eileen Troester (Al), Jean Morgan, and brother Murray Bell (Oda).
Despite the progression of her dementia, Ruth’s family enjoyed many special visits with her at York Care Centre, where she resided the last two years. The family would like to thank the staff for the kindness and care they provided Ruth, especially in her final days.
Visitation will be held at Grace Memorial Baptist Church, 536 Northumberland Street, Fredericton NB, on Friday, February 9 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm; followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 pm officiated by Rev. Dr. Peter Lohnes. A private family interment will be held at Fair Haven Memorial Gardens in Moncton, NB.
For those who wish, remembrances may be made to Atlantic Baptist Women, the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick or a charity of the donor’s choice. Personal condolences may be offered through www.yorkfh.com.