Thérèse Martin Ruppert passed peacefully on Monday, May 31, 2021, surrounded by family. After a weekend of cold temperatures and rain, she waited until the sun made its appearance before joining her beloved husband Clarence, waiting for her in heaven.
Thérèse, known as Terry to family and friends, was born on October 3, 1935, to Peter and Agnes Gadbois in White Plains, NY. After the loss of their first child, Barbara Ann, Terry was born. She was a beautiful, chubby cheeked baby girl. And with four-years between her and her next sibling, Terry had lots of time to be the apple of her parents’ eyes and a devoted older sister to Darlene, Skip, and Joe. She is survived by her siblings Darlene Hayde of Mt. Kisco, NY, Peter “Skip” Gadbois of Poughkeepsie, NY, and Joseph Gadbois of Charlotte, NC.
Terry graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel in White Plains, NY in 1953; Mary Immaculate Hospital School of Nursing in Jamaica, NY in 1956; and from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY in 1959 with a degree in biology. Somehow, amidst all her studies to prepare for her career in nursing, Terry agreed to go out on a blind date with Clarence Edward Ruppert, a young man from Tuckahoe, New York. “Click,” as she called Clarence (or, Ed, as he was known) ended up being the love of her life. The two were married on September 12, 1959, in White Plains, NY and they danced to their wedding song, Johnny Mathis’ “The 12th of Never” for almost forty more years. Terry and Click moved to Danbury in 1972, where they raised their four children: Edward (Donna) Ruppert of LaVerne, CA; Barbara Hatch of Watertown, CT; Peter (Kathleen) Ruppert of Fairfield, CT, and Karen (Robbie) Marcus of Bethel, CT. Terry relished her role as grandmother and took the title of “Mima” to heart, leaving her grandchildren—Jacqueline Ruppert, Angelo Liberatore, Kyle Hatch, Sam & Anna Ruppert, and Josh, Quentin & Tessa Marcus—with happy memories of seaside vacations, cross-country trips, and Sunday night dinners together.
Terry’s life was one of service and dedication to others. One of her first jobs as a RN was as a charge nurse at the VA Hospital in Albany, New York. Later, she worked as a school nurse and educator for the Harrison, New York public school system where she retired after 25 years. Terry’s dedication to her family and service to others was rooted in her strong Catholic faith. She was a member of St. Peter’s parish in Danbury for 49 years and was likely late to mass every single Sunday of them. Volunteering at the Rectory Office, serving on the Women’s Guild, and working in the kitchen during bingo were important to her.
Terry battled Parkinson’s disease with persistence and determination for sixteen years. She never let it slow her down, as noted by her grandchildren, who often had to trot alongside her to keep up with her quick “speed-walker” pace. As her Parkinson’s disease progressed, many of the things she loved and that kept her connected to her church community fell to the wayside, but she always held great love for St. Peter’s parish in her heart. Being a nurse, Terry understood the significance of being diagnosed with a disease like Parkinson’s more than the rest of her family, but she never let it get her down and lived with the disease with fortitude and grace. Terry had some wonderful caregivers: Dayse Mercedes, Nith Chao, Cheryl Perry, her grandson Kyle, and daughter Karen. Terry’s family is grateful to them all for the care they provided Terry during the last years of her life.
Terry is predeceased by her husband, Click, her mother and father, Agnes and Peter Gadbois, her sister, Barbara Ann, her brother-in-law, Edward Hayde, and her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Virginia and Fredrick Drake. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Her tribute page can be found at: https://tribute.michaeljfox.org/tribute-page.php?id=1992&np=true. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 5th at 9:30am at St. Peter’s Church in Danbury. Terry will be interred next to Click at St. Peter’s Cemetery afterwards.
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Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Disease