BROWN, Ruth Doreen On February 6, 2018, in hospital, surrounded by family. Ruth was the mother of David Johnson (the late Nancy Chong), Andrew Johnson (Jane French) and the late Marc Johnson (Roselyn) and proud Bubby of Gemma Johnson and Joshua Johnson (Tierza). Born in Toronto in 1931, she grew up in Cabbagetown with her beloved parents Anne and Abbey Brown, her sister, the late Marilee Weisman and a large extended family. A graduate of Jarvis CI, University of Toronto (BPHE, B.Ed), Toronto Teachers College and OISE (M.Ed), Ruth spent 30 years teaching in Toronto public schools, including Rose Avenue, Old Orchard School and Sprucecourt. She was devoted to kids in inner city schools where she used folktales from Italy, West Africa and China (Pinocchio, Anansi and Monkey King) to highlight the value of stories from global cultures. Her dedication to education was channeled into many projects: the school reader CORE about the people and history of Cabbagetown, an award-winning film, hand-made cloth books and booklets about Torontonians from culturally diverse backgrounds. Ruth loved films, jazz, her cats and dogs, collecting art and antiques, reading, traveling and debating political and social issues, including women's rights. She was a fighter, a visionary and a force of nature. At her request, funeral arrangements were private. There will be no shiva. A celebration of Ruth's life will be held Sunday, February 25th at 2 p.m. at the Women's Art Association (23 Prince Arthur Ave., Toronto). If desired, donations to L.E.A.F. or the Native Women's Resource Centre are welcome.
Published in Toronto Star on Feb. 17, 2018.