On February 22, 2020, Ruth Marie McAvaney, loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and grandmother passed away peacefully surrounded by her family.
Ruth McAvaney was born on July 27, 1922 in Wilmington to the late parents Frank E. and Susanna (Layman) Diffendall. She was the eldest of three siblings, her brother Francis and sister Janet. Growing up, Ruth attended Christ Our King Catholic School, Richardson Park Elementary and was alumnus of the first graduating class of Conrad High School in 1940. Ruth then went on to attend Marinello Beauty School in Philadelphia. She became the neighborhood hair dresser for family and friends.
On October 27, 1941, Ruth married the love of her life, Walter H. McAvaney and they shared 52 years in love, as sweethearts. They were married at St. Mattews Roman Catholic Church and were blessed with 7 children, 5 girls and 2 boys. They built their forever home to raise their family in Richardson Park on Reamer Avenue. Her neighbors included both her parents and her grandparents.
Ruth was a busy homemaker and a wonderful baker. She was famous for her vanilla pound cakes and sugar cookies. She enjoyed decorating cakes for Baptisms, birthdays, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, holidays and even weddings. For many years Ruth cooked for Saint Matthews, preparing meals for both the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Priests of the parish whom she dearly loved.
She enjoyed family car rides, visiting relatives on Sundays; attending mass, family picnics, gardening, swimming and loved going to the beach as much as possible with her husband, children, and relatives. Ruth’s life was centered around doing for others such as her family, her neighbors, the church, and volunteering at the dining halls to feed the homeless. She crocheted countless beautiful blankets and donated them to organizations for distribution to families in need.
In addition to her parents and beloved husband, Ruth was predeceased by her daughter, Susan Fahey; her brother, Francis C. Diffendall; grandchild, Kevin McAvaney; great grandson, Shawn D’Amato; nephew, Stephen Chalfant and sons-in-law, Dennis L. Gerace, Sr., Carmen Fahey and John R. Becker.
Ruth is survived by her daughters, Carol Ann Attix (Tim), Joyce M. Becker, Frances Judith Gerace, Karen L. D’Amato (Jim) and her sons, Walter R. McAvaney and Joseph F. McAvaney (Rebecca); her sister, Janet Chalfant (Harold), 17 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren, 9 great-great grandchildren. To also cherish her memory are numerous nieces and nephews.
She is and will forever be dearly loved by her entire family. We are truly blessed to have shared our lives with her.
Visitation begins at 10:00 AM on Friday, March 6th at St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church, 901 E. Newport Pike, Wilmington, DE 19804. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM. Burial will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, N. DuPont Pkwy, New Castle.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made in Ruth’s name to Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 N. Poplar St., Wilmington, DE 19801.