Dr. Paul E. Ruthman, 90

The Hamden resident was a long time SCSU professor who loved to travel, garden and tell stories of his life experiences.


Dr. Paul Ewart Ruthman, born in Lynn, Massachusetts on July 1, 1922, died after a long illness on Nov. 24, 2012.

He is survived by his daughter, Colette Victoria (Ruthman) Clarke, his son in law, Allan James Clarke, of Tallahassee, Florida and his three adoring granddaughters, Elizabeth Victoria Clarke (husband, Stephen Knox) of Carlsbad, California, Deborah Nicole Clarke of Dublin, Ireland, and Julia Michelle Clarke of Brooklyn, New York.

His beloved wife, Sabine Frym Ruthman, predeceased him in May, 1993. His sister, Esther Ruthman Bouffard, his brother, Donald Ruthman, and his sister, Dorothy Ruthman Boyster, survive him. His sister Alice Ruthman Smith predeceased him.

Paul Ruthman was a true member of the "greatest generation", growing up during the Great Depression with nine people in one household in Saugus, Massachusetts. After graduating from Saugus High School, he worked on the assembly line at the GE plant in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Paul joined the U.S. Navy and served as a pharmacist's mate during World War II, met and fell in love with his future wife, Sabine Frym, in Oran, Algeria. With the GI Bill, he attended Trinity College in Hartford, majoring in history and then earned his Master's in Education at Boston University.

Paul and Sabine married in Casablanca, Morocco and then moved to Voluntown, Connecticut, where Paul was the principal of the local school. After the birth of Colette, Paul and Sabine moved to the Hamden/New Haven area, where he became a professor of Education with a specialty in Reading at Southern Connecticut State University. He went on to get his PhD in Education from the University of Connecticut, with a specialty in Comparative Reading.

He served on the SCSU faculty for over 42 years, eventually becoming head of the Reading department. He was devoted to public school education, and also maintained a private tutoring practice to help people of all ages with reading problems. His patience and positive words of encouragement to all with whom he worked inspired them to accomplish more than they had imagined.

Paul was an avid reader of biographies, history and novels. He never went to bed without completely reading the daily newspaper. Paul was also a great storyteller. His family and friends would listen eagerly as he shared the colorful stories of his childhood in Saugus, with his teachers Mrs. Tarbox, Mr. Welcome McCullers, Monopoly games on the "piazza", his youth group at the Saugus Methodist Church, his experiences in the US Navy, and his happy memories at Trinity College.

He loved gardening and worked on a regular basis to create a beautiful landscape surrounding his homes in Hamden and Cape Cod. Loving to travel, Paul and Sabine went to Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Paul was a kind and generous man, giving with great joy to others, to his family and to his chosen charities. His Christian faith enabled him to see the good in everything. His education had given him so much in his life and at every opportunity he wanted to pass this gift onto others.

The family would like to extend their deep appreciation and thanks to all of his caregivers at Clare Bridge, Westminster Oaks and at Big Bend Hospice who made Paul feel comfortable and peaceful in his declining years.

The funeral service will be at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 at St. Peter's Church and will be followed by a reception in the church parish hall. The interment will be at the Centerville Cemetery in Hamden on Dec. 23.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, charitable donations be made to Trinity College Office of Advancement, Hartford, Connecticut, 06106, in memory of Paul Ewart Ruthman.


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