Ruth Ann Manners, 91, of Norwalk died Dec. 20, 2010.

Born in Keene, Ohio, on Aug. 6, 1919, she grew up in Sistersville, W.Va., and graduated from Randolph Macon Women's College.

She met her husband, David, in a painting class at the Arts Student League of New York while the two were living in Greenwich Village. After the birth of their second son in 1949, they moved to Norwalk, where she and David, along with his brother, William, and his wife Ande, built adjoining, passive-solar, contemporary houses. They used virtually no power tools, dug the foundation by hand, and often lived in tents on the property during construction.

She was a cook and also designed and sewed clothing. She wrote the books, "Prize Kitchens," published in 1964; "Sewing Simplified" in 1965, and co-authored of "The Quick & Easy Vegetarian Cookbook" with William Manners in 1978. The book, with the theme that vegetarian cooking could be sophisticated and easy, had multiple printings, two editions and publication in 14 languages.

She was predeceased by her husband died in 2007.

Survivors include her sons, Paul of Gulfport, Fla., Jon of Northfield, Minn., Mike of Middletown and Tim of Westport; an extended family including a niece, Jane Manners, and nine grandchildren.

Memorial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County. The Magner Funeral Home, 12 Mott Ave., Norwalk, is handling arrangements. To sign an online guest book, go to