NEW SWEDEN – After a long and courageous battle with health problems related to the arsenic poisoning, Frances “Fran” Ruggles entered into the gates of heaven April 4, 2009, at her New Sweden residence. She was born May 9, 1941, in Caribou, to Milton and Bernice (McIntosh) Butler. At an early age, she developed a strong Christian faith that sustained her through difficult and good times. There was never any doubt about her love for God and how she relied on him for strength, courage and guidance. She was a member of Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church and held different positions at various times. As a young person she developed a strong love of animals and brought every kitty and puppy home to her parents that she felt were abandoned. Regardless of numerous requests from her parents, she still continued to bring stray animals home. On Jan. 19, 1963, she married the love of her life, Carroll R. Ruggles. Dick was her hero, her strength and her rock, especially during the last year of her life as she struggled on a daily basis to breathe. He was an excellent caregiver and a great source of strength to her. During their marriage, family was especially important to them. They spent many memorable times celebrating various occasions. Each holiday was marked with elaborate meals and decor. She was especially proud of her Irish roots and encouraged family to develop a strong bond to their heritage. Her love of animals continued through her life and the majority of family pets were abused and abandoned animals. Each animal that came into their home was given plenty of love, attention and care to make up for the pain they had suffered. She was also known for her love of gardening, especially her flowers. She spent many happy hours pulling weeds, nurturing new growth and eventually enjoying the rewards of her hard work. She was especially fond of her rose bushes. She and her husband traveled extensively throughout their marriage. They either lived in or visited all states except Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Their dream for their golden years was to travel to Alaska in their RV, but the dream was never realized. Surviving in addition to her husband, Dick of New Sweden, are a son, Joe Ruggles and life partner, Betsy Hallet, of Mars Hill, grandchildren, Amber Ruggles and life partner, Rob Peabody, stepgrandchildren, Dezerae and Jazmyn Peabody of Carmel, Rick Ruggles of New Sweden, Ashley Ruggles and life partner, Joe Williams, and great-granddaughter, Olivia Goodness of Portsmouth, N.H.; and a son, David and his wife, Fay, grandchildren, Kyle, Steven and Rachel Ruggles, and stepgrandchildren, Elyse, D.J. and Michaela Deruzzio, all of Hudson, N.Y. She had a close relationship with three nephews and their families, Terry and Lisa Adler, Forrest and Austin of Caswell, Tim and Judy Adler and Emily of New Sweden, Michael and Danielle Guerrette and Eli and Madeleine of Farmington. She is also survived by one sister, Julia Adler of New Sweden; a sister-in-law, Joan Butler of Caribou; a brother-in-law and his wife, Gordon and Susie Ruggles and family of Raleigh N.C.; several other nieces and nephews and friends, John, Joyce, Cassie and JJ Hoffman of Valatie, N.Y. She was predeceased by her parents; and a brother, Gerald Butler. A memorial service will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church with the Rev. Gordon Compton and the Rev. Jim Morgan officiating. After the service the family invites all to Svea Hall for a time of continued fellowship and refreshments. Memorial in mem-ory of Fran may be sent to Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church, care of Shirley Erickson, P.O. Box 54, New Sweden, ME 04762 or Central Aroostook Humane Society Animal Shelter, 26 Cross St., Presque Isle, ME 04768. Arrangements by Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir St., Caribou. For an online register, please go to www.mocklerfuneralhome.com.