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Obituary: Ruth Silverman, 99

She was the last Silverman of Main Street department store fame.


Ruth Silverman, 99, died Nov. 22. Born in Rhode Island, a daughter of the late Herman and Jennie (Solomon) Silverman, she was a lifelong resident of the state and the last of the East Greenwich Silvermans of department store fame.

A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Class of 1935, Ms. Silverman was the co-owner of the former Silverman's of East Greenwich, retiring in 1990. Silverman's, a department store on Main Street, was a vital part of East Greenwich for many many years.

The family had two stores on Main Street – Silverman's Shoes and Silverman's Ladies Apparel – that were eventually combined into one entity at 500 Main St. but run separately, according to local town historian Alan Clarke. Ruth worked in ladies apparel.

Ruth is survived by her nieces, Jennifer Stern of East Greenwich and Lois Silverman of Palo Alto, Calif.; her nephews, Joseph Silverman of Calif.; Fred Silverman of San Francisco; and Steven Silverman of New York City. She was the sister of the late Benjamin, Howard, Arthur, and Irving Silverman.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Nov. 27, in the Samuel Priest Chapel in Lincoln Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Ruth Silverman Scholarship Fund at the East Greenwich Rotary. For information and condolences, SugarmanSinai.com.

If you have memories of Ruth and Silverman's, please leave them in the comments section below.

Tracie Truesdell November 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM
It wasn't often that we would see Mrs. Silverman, but once in a while, you'd see her walking around her yard with her walker. I remember the first time I saw her outside, I had just delivered my first child and was out for my very first walk with a baby in a stroller. Mrs. Silverman was outside in her yard, and I had the opportunity to stop and chat with her. Her body had clearly aged beyond what seemed to be a sharp and spry mind. She told me all about her family business here in EG. Since that time, I've had the pleasure of seeing her in her yard a handful of times, and always stopped to chat. I'll miss my impromtu chats with her. She seemed to be a lovely lady.
Donna (Battey) Fish December 01, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I had the privilege of knowing Ruth Silverman since I was a little girl. Her family's department store was my family's favorite spot to shop - whether it was new school shoes, or shopping for mom at Christmas time (My mom received new slippers, pajamas and a bathrobe EVERY year . . . sorry mom). When I was six, Silverman's held a coloring contest in which I won a beautiful red, white and blue, banana seat bicycle. It was my first “two wheeler!” But as with most good things, the Silverman's experience came to a close and the years passed, I was at my child’s baseball game, and there sitting in the stands routing on her (great) grand nephew was Ruth Silverman. Just the sight of Ruth brought back so many memories of my dad and I doing the annual shopping for mom. Thank you Ruth Silverman.

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