Margaret Ruth Lepes, a former longtime Ridgefielder, died on Monday, Oct.14, after what the family called a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 74 years old and the wife of John A. Lepes Jr.

One of four children, Ruth Lepes was born in Weymouth, Mass., on Dec. 16, 1938,  a daughter of the late Margaret and Benjamin Zeoli.

She grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Newton (N.J.) High School in 1957.  It was there that she met her husband.  They just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in August.

After raising her five children, Mrs. Lepes found her calling working with the nuns at the Congregation of Notre Dame in Ridgefield.  “She gained much satisfaction from her work there and in turn developed special friendships,” her family said.

Upon retirement, the couple enjoyed homes in both  Sedona, Ariz., and North Sutton, N.H.  Mrs. Lepes spent her time doing volunteer work at the local hospital in New Hampshire as well as at the Humane Society of Sedona where they adopted their dog, Bear.

Her family said she was a talented knitter and also loved to create beautiful cross-stitch pieces that are cherished by her family.

Besides her husband, she is survived by her five children, spouses and grandchildren; Joann and Joe Mulvaney of Ridgefield,  and their children – Sarah, Andrew, Matthew and Owen; Lynda and Bill Miller of Glen Ellyn, Ill., and their children — Erin and Adam; John B. Lepes and Kathy McNeil of Flanders, N.J., and their children — John and Rachel; Jason Lepes of Chandler, Ariz.; Lisa and Scott Puleo of Marblehead, Mass. and their children – William, Wesley and Vivienne. She is also survived by her brothers, Robert Zeoli of Weaverville, N.C., and George Zeoli of Delaware, Ohio, and her sister Isabel Mayer of Sparta, N.J., along with seven nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at the Baleville Congregational Church, 6 Church Road, Newton, N.J. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 11 a.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Baleville Congregational Church, 6 Church Rd, Newton, NJ 07860 or The Humane Society of Sedona, 2115 Shelby Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336.