Ruth Boswell Schiller, CM, DMus. (h.c.) 1931-2023
Canada has lost one of its most precious Ambassadors of Song. It is with profound sadness that the family of Ruth Schiller must relay that their beloved mother, grandmother, choral conductor, and music educator passed away Monday, February 27, at the age of 91 in Moncton, NB. Ruth was the conductor of the world-renowned Hillsborough Girls Choir, which she led until the age of 80.
Ruth Boswell Schiller was born in 1931 in Victoria, PEI, one of seven brothers and sisters. Her passion for music education was instilled by her parents. Her mother, Adeline Ruth (MacGregor) Boswell was one of the first to teach music in Island schools and her gentle father, Robert Keith, a veteran of both World Wars, was an Ayrshire cattle farmer who was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame (1973).
Ruth studied music at Mount Allison University and in 1953, met her beloved husband John (deceased 2001). Ruth is survived by her three loving daughters, Caroline (Laun Shoemaker), Leanne (Michael Delaney), and Heidi (Jack Veasey); her four grandchildren: Kieran and Emma Delaney, Sophie Francis Shoemaker, and Wil Veasey; her sisters-in-law: Joan Boswell (Bryce), Cathy Boswell (Alan), and by the many nieces, nephews, and friends whose lives she touched. She was predeceased by her sisters: Jean Howatt (Charles), Maylea Manning (Ralph Sr.); her brothers: Dr. David Boswell (Beverly), Alan Boswell, Edward Boswell, and Bryce Boswell; and her brothers-in-law: Ralph Manning Sr., and Charles Howatt. Ruth’s two loves were family and music. Nothing could produce a tear in the Schiller household quite like a beautiful piece of music or a beloved family photograph. Her love for her family was unconditional. Ruth was a passionate support to her children and grandchildren and was a mentor to the many children whose lives she touched.
The Hillsborough Girls Choir, which were featured in the documentaries, Eisteddfod: Journey to the Land of Song (1983) and Sweet Nightingale (1990), was founded by Ruth in 1979, when she returned from teaching in Montreal schools to Hillsborough, NB. The choir, known for its joyous communication and clear, bell-like tone, went on to receive many awards and accolades within Canada and abroad. Festivals included the National Eisteddfod, Wales (1983, 1987) and XVI International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna (1988). Above all things, Ruth believed in the essential value of music in the lives of every child. In 1992, Ruth became a Member of the Order of Canada https://www.gg.ca/en/honours/recipients/146-4017 and received an Honorary Doctor of Music (DMus) from Mount Allison University (1997).
Over her 45-year teaching career, Ruth will forever be remembered as a champion of the healing powers of singing, and its ability to enrich every child’s life regardless of their calling: "Music is important…because it will help (children) to recognize the beauty around them, be human and sensitive, and most of all be closer to the infinite power beyond this world." – Ruth Boswell Schiller
The family will be receiving relatives and friends at St. Paul's United Church, 404 Cleveland Ave. Riverview, NB on Saturday, March 18, 2023 from 1:00pm to 2:45pm; with a Celebration of Ruth's Life at 3:00pm from St. Paul's United Church with Rev. Steve Berube officiating. Masks are required inside church.
In lieu of flowers, we are accepting donations to The Ruth Boswell Schiller Music Education Fund.
To honour her 45 years of dedicated service to music education in New Brunswick, The Ruth Boswell Schiller Music Education Fund has been established. Ruth believed in the essential value of music in the lives of every child, and the fund will be used to promote music education in the Anglophone East School District.
"We teach children music because it connects them to something greater than themselves, something that makes us more human." - Ruth Boswell Schiller
School Cash Online donations can be made using the following URL link:
Cheque donations can be made payable to the Minister of Finance (memo: The Ruth Boswell Schiller Music Education Fund) and be sent to the following address:
Anglophone East School District 1077 St. George Blvd. Moncton, NB E1E 4C9
Arrangements have been entrusted to Tuttle Brothers Riverview Funeral Home 214 Pine Glen Rd. Riverview, NB (506) 857-9544. Online condolences can be made at www.tuttlefuneralhome.ca
Saturday, March 18, 2023
1:00pm to 2:45pm
St. Paul's United Church, 404 Cleveland Ave. Riverview, NB (Masks required)
Saturday, March 18, 2023
St. Paul's United Church, 404 Cleveland Ave. Riverview, NB
Fairhaven Memorial Gardens at a later date.