She was known by many names, including Miss Ruth, Barbara, Mama, MawMaw, and G-Maw. But whatever she was called, Barbara Ruth Kennedy Napolitano answered with the wide smile that everyone knew and loved.

Barbara Ruth Kennedy Napolitano, 90, of Troutman, N.C., passed away on Friday, March 29, 2024, after a long life of loving her family and spreading joy wherever she went.

She was born May 15, 1933, in Charlotte, N.C., to the late Alonzo Kennedy and Evelyn Bentley Kennedy. In addition to her parents, Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Ramon Napolitano, 12 siblings, and her grandson-in-law, Oren Dorell.

Ruth was an accountant for the Department of Social Services before her retirement. She was an entrepreneur with her husband, running many old Mooresville businesses. She also owned and operated Mrs. Ruth’s Christmas Trees in Mooresville during the holiday season; she loved greeting customers and sharing stories. She enjoyed crocheting, going to yard sales, and always loved bargains. Some of her favorite times were spent her family going to Cracker Barrel for a meal and shopping. She was an avid animal lover and provided a loving home with her late husband for several rescue dogs. Barbara’s greatest joy was spending time with her family, who will always treasure her hugs.

She is survived by her children, Mark Knapp (Karen) and Julie Helms (Gerald); and her special daughter in love, Pamela Bobb (Mike); grandchildren, Virginia Knapp Dorell, Sean Craig (Alisha), Sarah Knapp, Ron Craig (Erin), Rachel Knapp Drum (Page), Mary Morris (Drew), and Laura Knapp. She adored her ten (soon-to-be 11) great-grandchildren and her great-great-granddaughter.

A private Celebration of Barbara’s Life will be held by her family at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be sent to Carolina Caring Hospice.

Cavin-Cook Funeral Home and Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the Napolitano family. Condolences may be sent to the family at