This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

Ruth Lillian Franklin Simpson, age 107, of Portsmouth, RI, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at her home surrounded by her family.

Ruth was born March 17, 1913, in Fall River, Massachusetts to the late Mabel Broomhead and Irving Franklin. She attended Fanny Farmers Cooking School in Boston where she met her husband Richard Kelley and together they moved to New York City where they started their family, Karen Kelley (Meyers) and the late David Kelley. During her time in NYC, Ruth spent much of her time volunteering for the American Red Cross, aiding victims from WWII and spending her time enjoying her passions, the arts and theater. Ruth loved recalling stories of her time in NYC to her grandchildren.

Ruth later moved to Portsmouth, RI, the place she loved the most because of her love of nature and swimming in the ocean.

Ruth was passionate about her love of animals, always having multiple cats and dogs about. She was always rescuing animals and at any given time she had up to seven friends in her home. She donated to animal charities her entire life with The Animal Rescue League being her favorite charity.

Ruth’s other passion was her deep love of family and family traditions. Each summer she would have her grandchildren and great-grandchildren filling time with days at the beach, visiting the Newport Creamery and cooking for her family.

Ruth is survived by her daughter Karen Kelley Meyers, (Steven Meyers), grand-children, Abigail Stansfield (Terrence McDunner), Mandy Joyce Kelly, Danielle Wheeler (Kaih Nash), Clayton Stansfield (Natalie Stansfield), and Grant Wheeler (Kimberly Wheeler). Great grandchildren, Landon Stansfield, Sasha Stansfield, Camila Stansfield, Gabriella Wheeler, Easton Joyce, Baden Wheeler, Hadley Wheeler, Harrison Kelley and Morgan Joyce. Not to be forgotten are her grandchildren that proceeded her in death, and whom she loved so dearly and is happily reunited with in heaven, Hunter Kelley, Lori Stansfield and Baden Stansfield.

Our nana was a kind, fun and loving soul who will be greatly missed by her family.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Online tribute available at