Ruth Christine Phillips
1942 - 2023
Ruth Christine Phillips
Visitation Information
November 30, 2023
Visitation Time
6-8 PM
Visitation Location
Mattatall - Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young Street, Truro
Service Information
Service Date
Friday December 1, 2023
Service Time
11:00 AM
Service Location
St. John's Anglican Church, 25 Church Street, Truro
Burial Information
Burial Date
Private Interment
Burial Location
Terrace Hill Cemetery, Kaulback Street, Truro
Requested Charity
St. John's Anglican Church, Pancreatic Cancer Canada, Palliative Care, VON, Charity of Choice
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Ruth Christine Phillips – 81, Valley. It is with deep sadness and heartache we share that Ruth Christine Phillips passed away on Thursday, November 23, 2023 at home surrounded by her loving family. Ruthie was born in Amherst and grew up on the family farm. She was the fifth of six children of the late Helen (Bowser) and Clifford Travis.

Ruthie attended Amherst Regional High School, where she enjoyed participating in sports, especially soccer and basketball.  Ruthie and her siblings participated in 4-H, where projects with bovine livestock were of particular interest. Ruthie had especially fond memories of working with a calf named "Snowball", for which she was named "Miss Farmerette". Each of the Travis children enjoyed 4-H recognition, with trips to the Royal Agricultural Fair, Junior Farmers events, and provincial exchanges.   

After high school, Ruthie attended the Normal College from 1960-1961 in Truro where she earned her Teaching diploma. It was during her teaching studies that Ruthie met her soulmate and future husband, Robin Phillips, who was a Nova Scotia Agricultural College student at the time. 

After completing her diploma, Ruthie taught at Brookdale Elementary near Amherst, then Acadia Street School, in Amherst itself.  As Robin was completing his Veterinary degree at the University of Guelph, Ruthie and Robin married on September 5, 1964, at Trinity Saint Stephen’s United Church in Amherst. Ruthie joined Robin in Guelph for his final year of studies, where their daughter Paula was born. With a newborn baby, Ruthie and Robin returned to live in Truro, where Ruthie taught at Willow Street School. Ruthie and Robin soon moved to their permanent home in Valley, where over the years, their family grew to four daughters with Ann-Michele, Krista, and Alison joining the "family choir". 

Ruthie was always generous with her time, her gifts, and her talents. Ruthie continued her love of teaching and gift for nurturing children through raising her own daughters, and involvement at St. John’s Anglican Church Sunday school, as well as in senior choir, Parish Council, Vestry Committee, and Spiritual Development Committee. She was a leader with Canadian Brownies and Girl Guides, and other community organizations, including Valley Home and School, Children’s Aid Society, and Cobequid Educational Centre Band Auxiliary. For over two decades, Ruthie experienced joy and fulfillment working with children at Valley Preschool. "Miss Ruth" and her hand puppet "Feathers" were a dynamic duo, imparting wisdom and giggles in equal measure. 

At home, Ruthie spent many happy hours creating outfits for her girls and herself, from spring dresses to prom dresses to wedding dresses, to tiny treasures for grandchildren using her trusty Singer sewing machine. For a time, Ruthie sewed professionally for Mahone Bay’s Suttles and Seawinds, constructing quilted jackets and full skirts from fabulously coloured fabric and folksy prints. 

There were frequent occasions to gather with our large Travis and Phillips families. Gatherings were times for celebration, with scrumptious food, surprise skits, musical spoofs, and poetry tributes to honour family birthdays and milestones. Through the years, Ruthie, her Travis sisters, and sisters-in-law eagerly anticipated their annual summer retreats at her brother Weldon’s Jacksons Point cottage. 

Ruthie was a beloved wife, mom, nanna, sister, aunt, friend, wise advisor, kind advocate, maker of fun, and sometimes, even sweet mischief. She took special care to make every person dear to her feel loved, supported, and celebrated. Ruthie approached life with love, gratitude, appreciation, grace, thoughtfulness, and kindness, all while maintaining a bright, sparkling twinkle in her amazing blue eyes.  

Ruthie is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 59 years, Robin M. Phillips; beloved daughters, Paula (Roger Marsters), Halifax; Ann-Michele MacDonald (Jamie), Nashville, TN; Krista Watson (Philip), Mahone Bay; Alison (Michael Higgins), Lunenburg; cherished grandchildren, Nate, Katie, Will, Alex. She is also survived by her sister, Carolyn Phinney (Arthur), Paradise; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Travis, Saint John, New Brunswick; Nancy Travis, Amherst, brother-in-law, Keith Crowe, Mapleton; a great number of dear nieces and nephews, their partners and families. Ruthie was predeceased by her parents, Clifford and Helen Travis; brothers, Rod, Weldon; sisters, Lorna Crowe, and Eleanor.  

Heartfelt thanks go to all of Ruthie’s loving family and friends, Reverend Lori Ramsey and the St. John’s Church family, Dr. Bruce Phillips, Dr. Don Rowe, Dr. Cortney Smith and Cheryl Graham, and the extensive VON team who all gave such loving care and support to Ruthie and family over the past three years. 

Arrangements have been entrusted to Mattatall - Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young Street, Truro, where Ruthie’s family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, November 30, 2023. Funeral service will be held 11 a.m., Friday, December 1, 2023, at St. John’s Anglican Church, 25 Church Street, Truro, The Reverend Lori Ramsey officiating. (For accessible access, please use the link doors between the buildings.) Reception will follow in Kaulbach Hall. Private interment will be held in Terrace Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John’s Anglican Church, Pancreatic Cancer Canada (, CEHHC Palliative Care, VON, or a charity of your choice. Public messages of condolence may be sent to the family by viewing Ruthie’s obituary on-line and selecting "Send A Condolence" at:

Ruth Christine Phillips