Landscapes 15

James J. Ruddy

May 9, 1941 ~ March 13, 2022 (age 80)


James J. Ruddy, age 80, of Stratford, formerly of Fairfield and the Bronx, passed away peacefully with his family by his side at Yale-New Haven Hospital on Sunday, March 13, 2022, after a brief illness. He was a devoted husband to Carol A. (nee Bolger) Ruddy for 53 years.


James Joseph Ruddy was born on May 9, 1941, in the Bronx, NY, the third of four children, to the late Francis and Rose Anne (nee Maguire) Ruddy. Known as Jimmy growing up, he was a first-generation Irish American who lived in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx. At age 15, Jim took his future wife Carol on their first “date” to a local church dance. He served his country in the Army after graduating high school. On August 10, 1968, he married his sweetheart at Sacred Heart Church and settled in the Bronx until 1977, when they moved to Fairfield.


Jim worked as a delivery driver for Joyce Beverages in New Rochelle, NY, until 1985. After that, he owned a business, J&CR Juices, and delivered Snapple to the greater Bridgeport Area. After retiring in 2006, Jim spent two years as a “nanny” for two of his grandsons, a task that brought him immense joy. Not content with being idle, he became a school bus driver for the Fairfield School System and retired a second time at the age of 71.


Jim was active in many community and civic organizations. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, he obtained the rank of a Fourth Degree Knight in the Bronx. He was also a member of the Fairfield Lion’s Club.


Jim was fiercely proud of his Irish heritage and was an active member of the Gaelic American Club for 40+ years. He and Carol showed off their dancing skills at many club functions and belonged to the Set Dancers group for many years. Jim also enjoyed playing the weekly 25 card game there. He took extra pride in his three children, who would entertain at various events playing traditional Irish music.


At Oronoque Village, Jim enjoyed playing bocce, corn hole, and hanging out by the pool in the summer. He was a member of the Fun Seekers Club, which organizes activities for the residents.


As a parishioner at Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic church for 38 years, he was a choir member and performed alongside his children in the annual variety show. When he and Carol moved to Stratford, they joined Saint Catherine of Sienna in Trumbull.


Jim was known for living life on his own terms overcoming challenges with grace and humor. He had a contagious love for life and wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts with anyone who would care to listen, and maybe to a few who didn’t. Jim was a jokester with a huge heart and would give anyone the shirt off his back if it could help them. He particularly enjoyed taking people into NY for tours of “his city.” He always fully lived life with a twinkle in his eye and a song on his lips.


In addition to his wife Carol, Jim is survived by his daughters Janice (Paul) Higgins of Plymouth, MA and Dana (Eric) Wagnblas of Ansonia, CT, and his daughter-in-law Stephanie Ruddy of Litchfield, CT. His son James F. Ruddy preceded him in death in 2014. He also leaves his grandchildren, Brian, Dylan, Noah, Liam, and Jessa who all adored their Pop-Pop. His grandson Forest passed in 2017. His brothers Francis (Patricia) Ruddy of White Plains, NY; Michael (Regula) Ruddy of Manhattan, NY, and brother-in-law Robert Helenius also survive him. His sister Kathleen Helenius predeceased him in 2021.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Fairfield.  Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery.  Friends may greet the family Friday from 4-8 p.m. in the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Rd., Fairfield. 

The Mass of Christian Burial will be livestreamed and can be viewed from this link:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James J. Ruddy, please visit our floral store.


March 18, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Spear-Miller Funeral Home
39 South Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Mass of Christian Burial
March 19, 2022

9:30 AM
St. Thomas Aquinas Church (Fairfield)

Video is available for this event

March 19, 2022

10:45 AM
Oak Lawn Cemetery
1530 Bronson Rd
Fairfield, CT 06824

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