Fredlund-Ruiz, Shirley A.
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Shirley A. Fredlund-Ruiz, founded Voice for Joanie, of New Milford, died Sept. 30. She was the wife of Frank Ruiz. She was born Shirley Mae Anderson in Bridgeport, the daughter of Nellie Elizabeth Hine and Carl T. Anderson. She lived all her life, except for 18 months in Fargo, ND. She worked for 17 years at New Milford Hospital as a fundraising administrator in the hospital's foundation office. In 1989, she founded Voice for Joanie, a charity dedicated to providing communication equipment and software 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 1,000 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 her 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 and dancing with her husband, and being with their grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughters, Christal Preszler, of Newtown, and April Daryanani and her husband Raj, of Briar cliff Manor, NY; a stepdaughter Deanna M. Ruiz, of Orange, Frank Ruiz III and his wife Danielle of Orange; her former son-in-law Todd Preszler, of Newtown; four grandchildren, Petra Faith Daryanani, Julia, Scott and Nick Preszler; three step-grandchildren, Ava Marie, Frank IV and Dominick Ruiz; three sisters, Maxine Hartford, Virginia Trabold and Ether Anderson Krenkel, and her husband Herman, two nieces, Samantha Royster and Melissa Lindsey; and three nephews Bobby Lillis, Billy Trabold and Gene Fredlund Jr. A Celebration of Life will take place Saturday Oct. 19 at 1-3 P.M. at the VFW Post on Avery Road in New Milford. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that you perform a Random Act of Kindness.
Published in News Times on Oct. 17, 2013