Margaret Deegan Ruetsch
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AGE: 85 • Woodbridge
Margaret Deegan Ruetsch, 85, of Woodbridge, died on Thursday January 9that her home, with her loving and devoted family surrounding her. Born and raised in Perth Amboy, Ruetsch resided in Woodbridge since her marriage in 1951.
She was a retired school teacher for Perth Amboy Board of Education, but also taught in Woodbridge and was vice principal at St. Mary's High School in Perth Amboy. Ruetsch was a regular parishioner of St. James R.C. Church, Woodbridge. A 1949 graduate of Montclair State Teachers College (now Montclair State University), Ruetsch later earned a master of arts in education degree as a reading specialist from Seton Hall University. She was a compelling and charismatic teacher whom her students loved. However, when she was once asked at a college reunion to list her career highlights, she named her four children. Motherhood, to her, was also a respected career, and, in her eyes, the most important one.
Besides teaching and family, Ruetsch was also a loyal and loving daughter, who revered her parents, Kathleen (née Kinirons) and Michael Deegan. Her mother had been born and raised in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, and as a result, Ruetsch traveled with her family by ship to Ireland several times in her childhood. Those experiences had a lifelong impact on her, and she traveled many times to Ireland and stayed close to her family there.
Ruetsch was an insatiable reader, who read at least six books a week for most of her life.
She was also an historian and a consummate storyteller, a gift she would readily say was Irish. She had a special love for family history and local history (especially Perth Amboy). She was also a devoted supporter of the Sisters of Mercy, who educated her and guided her, and she maintained many friendships among the sisters throughout her life.
Ruetsch was predeceased by herbeloved husband Herbert in 2000 and a cherished brother, Michael Deegan. She is survived by her loving children Kathleen Moran and her husband Richard of E. Windsor;Peggy Jo Donahue and her husband William of Haddon Township; Herbert Ruetsch and his wife Joanne of Hacketstown; and William Ruetsch and his former wife, Sheila Cosgrove Walsh, of Woodbridge. Ruetsch had nine grandchildren: Timothy and Christian Moran; Sarah Donahue (Alexander Henderson); William Donahue; Shannon Ruetsch; Kyle Ruetsch (Melissa); Erin, Bridget and Maura Walsh; as well as one great-granddaughter, Ava Gianna Ruetsch. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Harriet Deegan Youngs of Fords; and many cousins, including Kathleen and Una Kinirons of Dublin, Ireland; the Honorable Joseph F. Deegan and his wife Mary of Perth Amboy; and Maureen Deegan Kala of Elizabeth.
Funeral services will begin Monday January 13that 8:30 am from the Gerity &Chubenko Funeral Home, 411 Amboy Ave., Woodbridge, followed by a 9am. Mass of Resurrection at St. James R.C. Church, Woodbridge, with interment at St. Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia. A viewing will be heldon Sunday Jan. 12th from 2 pm to 6 pm at the funeral home. For those who would like to make donations in her memory, please send checks to the Sisters of Mercy, 1645 Highway 22, Watchung, NJ 07069, indicating: "In memory of Margaret Deegan Ruetsch, for the retired Sisters of Mercy." To send condolences visit www.gerityfh.com.
Published in Home News Tribune on Jan. 10, 2014