On Feb. 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 Ave., Old Orchard & Sprucecourt. She was devoted to kids in inner city schools where she used folktales from Italy, West Africa and China (Pinocchio, Anansi & 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 & dogs, collecting art & antiques, reading, traveling, and debating political & 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 Sun. Feb. 25th at 2pm at the Women’s Art Association (23 Prince Arthur, Toronto). If desired, donations to L.E.A.F. or the Native Women’s Resource Centre are welcome.
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