This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.
Alexandrina Ruth “Ruth” (Silvia) Ebbitt, 96, a native Newporter, passed away peacefully at Village House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center from natural causes on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
Family and friends all knew her as Ruth. She was born in Newport in the family home on Sharon Court in the old 5th Ward on April 18, 1924, the daughter of Manuel Azevedo Silvia and Mary Alice (Silveira) Silvia, a descendant of a long line of Pico and Sao Jorge Azoreans. Ruth attended schools in Newport, graduating from Rogers High School in 1944.
As a youngster, Ruth loved to dance and sing. She attended jazz, tap, toe and acrobatics classes under the tutelage of Rita Goddard. Throughout her life, she sang and performed at Rogers High School events, in the St. Augustin’s Church choir as well as being a soloist for weddings and funerals, and in the St. Anthony’s Church choir. She was also a member of the Newport Trigon Club, the De La Salle Mothers Club, and Portsmouth Garden Club. She enjoyed bowling, being a member of the Newport Women’s Bowling League during the 1970’s.
Ruth experienced some major events in her 96 years. The Great Depression, the hurricane of 1938, World War II, the fire at St. Augustin’s School and Church (which she watched from her home on Marchant Street while her husband fought the fire as a member of the Newport Fire Department), the technology revolution and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the war, she worked at the Lincoln Store and as a Messenger and later a Clerk Typist at the Torpedo Station in Newport during the war. Her greatest profession and the one she relished most, was as a wife and mother.
While attending high school, she meet her one and only, Bernard J. Ebbitt. They spent 55 years together in marriage until his passing in 2001.
During the late 1970’s she moved to Portsmouth where she was a communicant of St Anthony’s Church until moving to Middletown to live with her youngest daughter after the passing of Bernard. While in Portsmouth, she was a member of the St. Anthony’s Church Women’s Guild (some of that time as the President).
Ruth was predeceased by her husband, Bernard J. Ebbitt, her son Bernard Edward Ebbitt, her sisters, Mary E Venancio, Alice D Correia, Anna M Virgadamo, Helen E Griffin, and her brother Manuel J Silvia. She is survived by her daughters Deborah S Ebbitt (Scott L McCarthy) of Tiverton, RI and Mary Ann Ebbitt of Middletown, RI, and her two granddaughters, Kelsey Ebbitt McCarthy of North Providence, RI, and Ariel Ebbitt McCarthy of College Station, Tx.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St Augustin’s Church on Monday, September 14th, 2020 at 10:00 am in St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Avenue, Newport. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery.
A Celebration of life will be held at later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ruth’s memory may be made to the Village House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center c/o Activities Fund, 70 Harrison Avenue, Newport, RI 02840, the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation or to a charity of your choice.