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Ruth Ilse (Heinze) Torsiello
September 28, 1932 ~ November 28, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
Ruth Ilse Torsiello was born to Gertrud and Wilhelm Heinze on September 28, 1932, in Sacrau, Germany. As a young woman, she was employed as a secretary for a railroad company, typing dictations for passengers on the train. While visiting a carnival, a fortune teller told Ruth she would one day meet and marry a ball player. Around 1951, Ruth met and fell in love with Caesare “Chet” Torsiello while he was in Germany playing softball for the United States Army. He promised her he would return upon his discharge. They were married in 1952 and Ruth immigrated to Torrington, CT. In May 1958, she was naturalized as a citizen of the United States.
Ruthie and Chet had three daughters, Coleen [Herb] Peterson, Sharon [James] Cable, and Lesley [Daniel] Mara. As their children became more independent, Ruth worked for the Torin Corporation. In 1990, Ruth earned her bachelor’s degree in general studies, having attended Northwestern CT Community College and UCONN Torrington. She went on to get a certificate in recreational therapy and worked at Litchfield Woods Health Care Center as a recreational therapist until her retirement.
Ruth enjoyed keeping in touch with childhood friends from Germany, meeting up and travelling with them every two years. She corresponded with her sister Jutta in Kansas, and her mother and sister Ute in Frankfurt. Having returned to Germany several times before, Ruth once travelled alone to search for her childhood home. During her visit, she met with old friends, spoke with local figures, and hitched rides with strangers, eventually finding the home she remembered and had spoken of so often.
Being a dedicated gardener, not even a hip replacement (or two) could keep Ruth from shooing the neighboring farm’s bull out of her roses. She cultivated and preserved vegetables, and cared for and regularly expanded her perennial beds. After retirement, Ruth accompanied Chet to the flea markets, spent time tending her gardens, and attended a mystery group and a writer’s group at the Norfolk Library. Over the years she worked on, and eventually completed her memoir, an accounting of her childhood in Germany.
Ruth built close relationships with all her grandchildren, Bettina [Eric] Evans, Allyn [Jen] Peterson, Wendy [Eric] Peterson, Tom and Alex Cable, and Benjamin and Kat Mara. She was even so fortunate to know and enjoy her four great-grandchildren, Emmett and Samuel Evans, and Riley and Naomi Peterson.
Ruth passed away at home on November 28, 2023, at the age of 91, surrounded by the love and dedicated care of her family. The stories we all hold of her long, full life will be cherished as we carry her memory forward.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 8, 2023. Calling hours will be from 9-10:30 am at Cook Funeral Home, 82 Litchfield St., Torrington. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 837 Charles St., Torrington, with a reception to follow in the church’s Fellowship Hall. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Adult Services Program at the FOCUS Center for Autism, 126 Dowd Ave., Canton, CT, focuscenterforautism.org.