Ruth Tolf Ansell

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BEDFORD - Ruth Tolf Ansell, 60, passed away peacefully on April 8, 2014, at her home in Bedford, where she succumbed to brain cancer.

Born to Larry Ansell and Martha Ansell Mokover on Feb. 26, 1954, in East Orange, N.J. Ruth moved to Geneva, Switzerland when she was 12 years old. She moved back to the U.S. and graduated from Rhode Island College in 1975 as an education major.

In college, she met her first husband Francis Murphy. They were married in September, 1976. Ruth and Fran attended Fordham Law together where they graduated in 1981. Ruth's son, Gerard Murphy, and daughter, Lauren Murphy, were born in 1980 and 1983 respectively.

Ruth moved to New Hampshire in 1981 where she became a trust and estate lawyer. She received her master's in tax law from Boston University in 1988. In 1994, Ruth started her own law firm, Ansell Professional Association, which later became Ansell & Anderson. Working alongside her longtime friend and partner, Christine Anderson, Ruth often spoke of how much her work and clients enriched her life.

In 2002 she married Erik Tolf. Together Ruth and Erik hiked many mountains in New England, explored countries and cultures across the globe, attended countless jazz and blues concerts, and doted on their four grandchildren.

Ruth's charitable activities were significant. She served as an adviser to the N.H. Charitable Foundation, trustee of the Bedford Land Trust, and had various roles for the N.H. Audubon, Granite State Ambassadors, and Mary and John Elliot Charitable Foundation among others.

Ruth had a sharp mind, a quick infectious laugh, a generous soul, and a penchant for living. She is survived by her loving husband Erik; her son Gerard and his wife, Elizabeth; her daughter, Lauren Murphy and partner Bill Hyde; her step-children, Tristan Tolf and partner Karen LeBlanc, and Lachlan Tolf and wife Stacey; her mother Martha Mokover; her sisters Kathy Yanow and Barbara Ansell; her step-siblings Ellen Martin and Eric Mokover; many nieces and nephews; and her four grandchildren by whom she was adored.


SERVICES: In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to one of the charities Ruth supported, New Horizons for New Hampshire, 199 Manchester St., P.O. Box 691, Manchester, 03105.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, April 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Goodwin Funeral Home, 607 Chestnut St., Manchester. Please visit to sign the online guestbook.

Funeral Home
Goodwin Funeral Home
607 Chestnut Street Manchester, NH 03104
(603) 625-5703
Funeral Home Details
Published in Union Leader on Apr. 10, 2014