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B: 1923-03-02
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D: 2018-04-24
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Ruth DeSanctis
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Obituary for Ruth DeSanctis (Foley)

Ruth  DeSanctis (Foley)

DESANCTIS, Ruth Ann. Loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend, of Winchester, passed away peacefully at Windrose of Woburn on March 19, 2018, from complications of Alzheimer's Disease. At the time of her death, Ruth was surrounded by Roman, her beloved husband of 63 years, and her daughters. Ruth was born on July 27, 1931, to the late Alfred N. Foley and Ruth L. (Soley) Foley. She was predeceased by her sister, Dorothy Janek. Ruth grew up in Arlington, graduated from Simmons College School of Nursing in 1952, and worked as a Nursing Instructor in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) School of Nursing before devoting herself to raising her family. As a resident of Winchester for nearly 60 years, she was active in many social and community organizations, especially her girls' schools, the Winchester Hospital and the MGH.

Ruth's gregarious soul drove her passion for entertaining and bringing people together, hosting many memorable parties over the years. She loved traveling the world with Roman, and was an adventurous and fearless explorer of foreign cultures. She developed a special love for Morocco over two decades of travel there with Roman, who served as a consulting cardiologist. Ruth had a passion for building and furnishing museum-quality, heirloom dollhouses. She loved all holidays, but especially Christmas. She celebrated that season with spirit, hospitality, and boundless generosity. Ruth was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her devoted husband, Roman; her daughter Ellen DeSanctis and her two daughters, Anna and Mia; daughter Lydia DeSanctis; daughter Andrea DeSanctis; daughter Marcia DeSanctis and her husband, Mark Mennin, and their two children, Ray and Ava Mennin. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law, John Janek and Jack McDuff, and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

The family would like to express its sincerest thanks to the caregivers of Windrose at Woburn and the staff of Ascend Hospice, who lovingly guided Ruth through the last three years of her life and her final days.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 am on Saturday, April 7, at St. Eulalia in Winchester (50 Ridge Street), followed by a reception at the Winchester Country Club (468 Mystic Street). Private interment will follow at Wildwood Cemetery in Winchester.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to “MGH Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Caregiver Support” and mailed to the Massachusetts General Hospital Development Office, Jayci Giambrone, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114. Donations can also be made online at

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