Ruth Elizabeth Cataldi was released from this world and entered Heaven on April 29, 2023. She was born May 25, 1924 in Mendenhall, PA and was raised in Camden-Wyoming, Delaware, by her parents Humphrey Vandegrift and Alice (Showalter) Vandegrift. She is also predeceased by her husband, Frank C. Cataldi; their daughter, Debbie Conklin (Roy); her sister, Myrtle (Arthur) and their children Alice and Artie; sister Dorothy (Joseph); sister Irene (Gilbert) and their son Randy; her brother Robert (Betty) and their daughter, Norma Lee; and her son-in-law, Thomas Lovell.
She is survived by her beloved family: her daughter, Linda Bullen (George); her grandson, Russell Lovell and great granddaughter, Kaylee; her granddaughter, Laura Porto (Marissa) and great grandsons, Leo and Vincent; her grandson, Roy Conklin, Jr. and great grandsons Travis and Jason and great, great grandsons, Nathaniel and Axel; her grandson, Marc Conklin (Jill) and great grandsons Adam and David; her sister, Mary Ann, and nieces, Becki (Paul), Bobbi Lynne (Gerald), Patricia (Susumu), and Kathleen; nephews, Ray (Linda), Charles, Peter, Jonathan and Joshua and numerous great nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ruth was a 1942 graduate of Caesar Rodney High School where she played basketball. She joined Bell Telephone as a telephone operator and soon met Frank Cataldi, the love of her life. They married, June 1, 1943 and honeymooned in Jacksonville, FL. While there, Frank was sent off to join the Navy to fight in WWII as Quartermaster on the aircraft carrier CV-18 USS WASP. Their daughter, Deborah Ann, was born Feb. 25, 1944 while Frank was still at sea and their daughter Linda Kay, was born 10 years later on Mar. 19, 1954. Both daughters also attended Caesar Rodney High School and when Linda started first grade, Ruth returned to the workforce as secretary at Nellie Stokes Elementary. She continued her secretarial career at Allen Frear Elementary and Caesar Rodney High School, where she was bookkeeper until her retirement in 1985. Although a working mother, Ruth made time to cook, knit, and entertain for friends and family. She was known for her homemade peanut brittle, old fashioned fudge, and chicken and dumplings. The card table was always out as Bridge games were her focus or a fun night of “36” or poker. She was a pet lover and had numerous cats and dogs, which she adored.
Ruth battled and conquered cancer at the young age of 52. Throughout her life she gave her time to the American Cancer Society as a Reach to Recovery volunteer to assist, support and give encouragement to others battling breast cancer.
Ruth and Frank sold their home in Dover, DE after they both retired and moved to their dream home on the Outer Banks of NC, where they had vacationed during summers and spent many Thanksgivings. As an avid bridge player during retirement, she became a duplicate bridge player. She participated in many tournaments and became a Life Master. After Frank passed in 2006, Ruth continued to enjoy the Outer Banks until she was 90 years old and decided to move to a residential living facility, Lake Prince Woods in Suffolk, VA. While there she continued to play bridge and poker and was a bridge instructor for those residents interested in learning the game. She remained a resident there until her passing.
Our family extends many heartfelt thanks to the staff and hospice caregivers who so loved and cared for Mom.
Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please make any memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org; ASPCA, www.aspca.org, or organization of your choice.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Ruth Elizabeth Cataldi, please visit our floral store.