Shirley A. Fredlund-Ruiz

Shirley A. Fredlund-Ruiz of New Milford died September 30. Born Shirley Mae Anderson, the daughter of Nellie Elizabeth Hine and Carl T. Anderson, she was born in Bridgeport and lived in New Milford all her life, except for 18 months spent in Fargo, N.D. 

She was the love, best friend, life, and wife of Frank Ruiz. Her daughters Christal Preszler of Newtown and April Daryanani, and her husband Raj, of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; her stepdaughter Deanna M. Ruiz of Milford; stepson Frank Ruiz III, and his wife Danielle, of Milford; her former son-in-law Todd Preszler of Newtown; four grandchildren and three step-grandchildren; her sisters Maxine Hartford, Virginia Trabold, and Ethel Anderson Krenkel, and her husband Herman; and several nieces and nephews survive Ms Fredlund-Ruiz.

She worked for 17 years at New Milford Hospital as a fundraising administrator in the hospital’s foundation office. 

In 1989, Ms Fredlund-Ruiz founded Voice for Joanie, a charity dedicated to providing communication and software equipment to people afflicted with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), after assisting her friend Joanie Margaitis, who suffered from ALS. She served as president of Voice for Joanie until her death. 

In its nearly 25 years, Voice for Joanie’s equipment has allowed more than a thousand ALS patients to share their thoughts and needs with their loved ones and health care providers. In June of this year, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation honored Ms Fredlund-Ruiz with its Myra Kraft Community MVP Award for her volunteer work with Voice for Joanie.

She met her husband in a Jazzercise class in 1983. They married in 1998 and continued to attend Jazzercise classes until recently. She also enjoyed birding with her husband, and being with their grandchildren. 

A celebration of Ms Fredlund-Ruiz’s life will take place Saturday, October 19, at the New Milford VFW Post, 11 Avery Road, from 1 to 3 pm.

 In lieu of flowers, her family asks that you perform a “Random Act of Kindness.”

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