Carole Patricia Young Ruden of Westport (and The Greens in Wilton) died Nov. 12, 2020. She was 83. She was surrounded by her children.
Carole Patricia Young Ruden Contributed photo
Born in Far Rockaway, NY, on September 24, 1937, to Barney and Hilda (Zucker) Young, she was the oldest of three daughters and developed an early interest in fashion working at her parents’ clothing store, “Young’s.” She attended Far Rockaway High School and Harcum College, and at the age of 21 married the love of her life, Morton Ruden. The couple moved to Westport in 1969 with their two young sons.
Blessed with many friends and a wide range of interests, she became an expert needlepoint teacher, working on a special mural for Temple Israel in Westport. She began selling silver jewelry from her home in 1978 with a close friend, Carol Turk, who she met during their husbands’ time at NYU Law School. The pair opened the iconic jewelry store Tu-Caroles inside the Top Drawer boutique in 1979. For two decades, the Caroles were early champions of many designers, including David Yurman, Paul Morelli and Lisa Jenks, and were renowned for their unique, fashion-forward selection.
An avid reader and traveler, Carole was a go-to resource for great mystery book recommendations and travel finds. She was often the first one requesting an author’s latest book at the original Westport Public Library. A lover of music, particularly jazz, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, and Shirley Horn were her favorites, and she occasionally displayed her hidden talent for tap dancing, to her family’s amusement.
Upon retirement in 1999, Carole enjoyed attending theater, ballet, and art exhibits in New York, playing cards, and dining at wonderful restaurants, often in the company of her beloved sisters and with her many close friends. She enjoyed the occasional casino trip with Carol and was known for hitting jackpots by picking slot machines based on matching the serial numbers to her children’s birthdays. After developing Alzheimer’s disease in 2010, she retained her sense of joy, even as she retreated from public life. Carole is predeceased by her parents and her husband of 61 years, Mort.
She is survived by her children, David Ruden of Black Rock and Jeffrey and Kelle Ruden of Westport; her sisters, Anita Brause and partner Paul Krinsky of New York City and Waterford, ME, and Sherry Lieb and husband Bob of Livingston, NJ and Frenchman’s Creek, FL, and their families. A resident of The Greens at Cannondale since 2016, Carole was beloved by all who knew her, a model mother, sister and friend. Her devoted sisters, children and the wonderful staff at The Greens brought her comfort and loving care and will miss her greatly.
Funeral services will be private due to the pandemic, with a public memorial to be planned when circumstances permit.
Donations may be made in her honor to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, 200 Executive Blvd S., Southington, CT 06489. To sign her online guest register, please visit LeskoPolkeFuneralHome.com.