Ruth Burke Lewis Foy

Published 6:49 pm Monday, April 10, 2017

Ruth Burke Lewis Foy, 102, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 23, 2017.  Born Aug. 1, 1914, Ruth was the daughter of the late Suzie (nee Van Brunt) and James Burke.  Her older sister, Lillian Burke Thurston, brother-in-law, Charles Thurston, her first husband, Cliff, second husband, Eddie, son-in-law, Kenneth Darling, and older daughter, Jean predeceased her.  

Most of her life, Ruth, lived in New York on Long Island in small towns on the north shore; Port Jefferson, Setauket and Mt. Sinai. She relocated to Smithfield to be near family.  

Ruth graduated from Port Jefferson High School and worked briefly in a hotel in Belle Terre, N.Y., before marrying Clifford E. Lewis (d. 1967).  They lived in Setauket and had three children, Jean Lewis Darling (d. 2002), Arleen Whelan of Smithfield, and Clifford E. Lewis of Exeter, Pa.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Lewis family owned a small dairy farm on Hub Road, off Pond Path, in South Setauket. Locals ice skated on their pond, and Ruth and Cliff always let cold children warm up around the big heating grate inside their home, offered them a cookie and something to drink.  

After Cliff’s death, Ruth was married to Edward J. Foy, now deceased, for 21 years.  She remained devoted to her family as a homemaker and helped with her husband’s businesses, hosted holiday dinners and parties, and volunteered with organizations that women of her era supported.  She volunteered as a room mother in school, was a Cub Scout den mother, and attended numerous fund raisers for the schools, churches, fire departments and hospitals.  Ruth loved to dance. She always said she’d rather dance than eat. 

When her children were older, Ruth worked for a BOCES school located at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, N.Y.  She helped in the classrooms and in treating children with severe arthritis and cerebral palsy.  She enjoyed eating out with colleagues, traveling with them to the Catskill or Pocono Mountain resorts, playing cards with friends and family. In later years, she taught and played bridge in the Three Village area, volunteered with Meals on Wheels, helped the Inter County Blood Bank, and was active in the local senior citizen group.

She and her second husband Eddie frequented the Stony Brook Yacht Club and St. Georges Country Club.  Eddie was a good golfer. Ruth got a lot of exercise chasing the golf ball all over the course. They wintered in New Port Richey, Fla. for years.  
Besides her children, Ruth is survived by her son-in-law, Michael D. Whelan; daughter-in-law, Linda Lewis; eight grandchildren who called her grandma, Clifford Darling, Cheryl Bowen, Carol Darling, Crystal Westman, Jay Lewis, Clifford Anderson, Lara Whelan and Michael Whelan; 15 great-grandchildren called her G.G., Christine, Aaron, Kyle, Brandon, Curtis, Tyler, Kristen, Jessica, Nicholas, Anthony, Vincent, Cole, Rylee, Gavin and Matthew.   Also surviving is a great-great-grandson, Logan; a nephew, Ronny Thurston (Gerri) and family; a niece, Joan Cropley and her family, plus a host of extended family and friends.

In her youth, Ruth sang in two church choirs. Memorial donations may be made to Setauket United Methodist Church, 160 Main Street, Port Jefferson, N.Y. 11777, where Ruth worshiped until she married. 

The family expresses special thanks to Ruth’s hospice angels, Debbie Boyd, RN, Mary Evans, LPN and Aide Omeka Seaborn. In addition, the special personal care for nine and a half years by Eunice Green Denson and other sitters helped extend Ruth’s life. 

Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, 14214 Carrollton Blvd. Carrollton, Va. Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at