Fairlawn Mortuary

180 Washington Street, Fairhaven, MA


Ruth Biruta Silva

August 26, 1941August 20, 2019

Ruth B. (Pukulis) Silva, age 77 of New Bedford, passed away Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at Charlton Memorial Hospital, after a brief illness. She was the daughter of the late Jekabs and Ilze (Krievs) Pukulis.

Born in Liepaja, Latvia, the family escaped Russian occupation, and in a fishing boat, fled to Sweden. After 6 years in a refugee camp, and two more children, (Dzintra and Modris) they were sponsored to Timmins Ontario Canada, where 2 more children, (Silvija and Vija) were born. Ruth graduated from Timmins High and Vocational School. She later came to the New Bedford area where she married and raised her family.

Ruth worked for many years as a Bookkeeper for the Long Shoreman’s Union and then in a local attorney’s office. She most recently shared her love for children by being a mentor and tutor in the Foster Grandparent Program with Coastline Elderly.

Ruthie not only loved children, but animals too. As well as working for the Humane Society, (New Bedford Animal Rescue League), she looked forward to pet-sitting for friends and family members, as well as visits from her grandpup, MargauxRhita from Tennessee..

Her yard is the place where Ruth spent most of her spare time, gardening and planting flowers. When she wasn’t digging in the dirt, Ruth was likely shopping, making duck towels, working on crafts and other projects involving her sewing machine, or traveling with her sisters. She never missed a family function and an opportunity to document it with her camera. Ruthie’s heritage was also very important to her, and included looking after many in the elder Latvian community .

Ruth is survived by her children, Michele Silva of Knoxville, TN and Michael Silva of New Bedford; her siblings, Dzintra Ferrigan, Silvija Mazza, Vija Pukulis Carney and Modris Pukulis all of Massachusetts; and several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life in Ruth's honor will be held on Sunday - September 29, 2019 from 11am-2pm in the SeaLoft at the Waypoint Event Center adjoining the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel on MacArthur Drive in New Bedford.

Arrangements are in the care of the WARING-SULLIVAN HOME at FAIRLAWN, 180 Washington Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Humane Society & Shelter – South Coast www.hsssc.org, or in Tennessee: Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee www.sbret.com. To leave a note of condolence: www.waring-sullivan.com


  • Celebration of Life Sunday, September 29, 2019


Ruth Biruta Silva

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joanne & Lee Hebert

September 2, 2019

Dear Michele:
So sorry to hear about your mom's passing. Our favorite memories are when she took so many pictures of you and David going to the Inauguration Ball and all the beautiful crafts she made.

I'm sure she will be missed by your family.

Love, Joanne & Lee xoxo

Mrs. L Oliver

September 1, 2019

My sincere condolences. Grandma Ruth worked at Northstar Learning Center in my classroom. She was a great asset to our class and I admired her work ethic. God Bless the Family we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of grandmas Ruth’s life. We will surely miss her she loved the children and we loved her. Mrs.Oliver

Tami Wilson

September 1, 2019

I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth twice while I was working/visiting the New Bedford area. She is my best friend Michele’s mom. Michele said you have got to try my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. Ruth and I had never met but I was so excited to meet her. Michele always spoke of her warmth and generosity. Ruth and I had a great conversation. She wanted to know about my family, job and travels. The dinner was not only fun and comfortable but the spaghetti and meatballs were out of this world! To this day, I can still taste the savory flavor in my mind. After I left, I felt a close connection to her and we would occasionally text and speak on the phone. She always made Christmas Candy and sent me and my father a tin full of all kinds of different, delicious candy. I was able to visit one more time and again, it was such a great memory. Ruth will be missed and loved by her family and friends as she was a very special person. I will never forget her kindness to me as a stranger, welcoming me into her home and the close connection that became over spaghetti and meatballs.

Stephanie Cottrell

August 31, 2019

I remember being in Ruth's kitchen during a college trip home w Michele. She wouldn't let my parents and me leave without sitting at the kitchen table to have some cookies. Her warm smile lit up the room. And she was a saint to laugh and live through Meesh's shenanigans 😊. It was easy to see how much she loved her children.
Rest in peace, Ruth.

Jim and Kathleen PHillips

August 31, 2019

God's Blessings to all of Mrs. Silva's family during this very sad time. May she rest in peace.

John Souza

August 31, 2019

I’m thinking of you all during this very difficult time and realizing how our families are forever intertwined we love you all ! The Souza’s

Krystyn Maxa

August 30, 2019

Ethan and I are saddened to hear of Ruth's passing. Though we didn't see her often, she has always been in our thoughts and will forever be remembered through the 3 adorable duck towels she made for Ethan so many years ago...still in use today. I know Ruth is loved and missed by so many. Much love and condolences to her family!

Linda Charbonneau

August 29, 2019

Ruthie was a beautiful, kind , classy lady. She was my sister Barbara's dear friend. She always had a kind word . Such a wonderful person! We always enjoyed having Ruthie at our Labor day cookouts with my sister. She will be missed! My sincere condolences to her family and friends! 💔

Claire t. Carney

August 28, 2019

I have such fond memories of Ruth. She was taken from us much too soon.
I send the family my most sincere condolences. Claire T. Carney.