Ruth Sanford

Ruth Sanford

Ruth Frances Sanford (Funk) June 4, 1921 – October 11, 2010

Ruth Sanford passed away from natural causes while living in Edmonds, Washington.  Her devoted husband, Jim Sanford and the love of her two daughters, Vicki Sanford Fisher and Denise Cole were with her as she passed.  She will be dearly missed by her family and friends

Ruth was born in Lynden, Washington to Judge and Margaret Funk.  Enduring the challenges of growing up in a family of seven during the great depression, Ruth enjoyed playing softball, picking berries for a few extra cents, playing in the band and then serving as her high school’s drum majorette.  She attended Western Washington University where she nearly completed her nursing degree as well as met and married her husband of sixty-eight years, Jim Sanford on August 8th, 1942.

Jim enlisted in the Navy and immediately after the wedding they moved out of state while Jim served during the WWII era.  Their first daughter, Janet Lee, was born in August of 1944.  After the war, in addition to raising Janet, Ruth continued to work as a supervisor for the telephone company while Jim pursued his undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Several years later they decided to expand their family and Ruth gave birth to Vicki in 1957 and Denise in 1959. The family settled in Normandy Park, Washington in 1962 where Jim and Ruth lived up until just a few months ago.

Mom in her garden

Ruth loved the outdoors and through her varied interests in gardening, flower arranging, hiking and even mountain climbing, she surrounded herself and those around her with natural beauty.  Always an involved member of her community, Ruth not only worked for over three decades in management with the telephone company but she served in PTA; helping to lead the effort that brought the first kindergarten class to Marvista Elementary School  and serving as PTA president more than once.   She was a member and past president of Des Moines Garden Club for decades. In the 1960’s she and Jim became active members of The Mountaineers where she took up mountain climbing and successfully made the summit of Washington’s six major peaks!  She loved gourmet cooking, traveling, entertaining and spending time with her immediate and extended family and friends.

In 1983 she tragically lost her oldest daughter Janet, but being the loving matriarch she was, she kept the family close throughout the years.  She was humble and gracious, hardworking and faithful to all who were blessed to call her mom, grandma, aunt, sister, daughter, wife and friend.  She will be missed.  Her legacy of love, generosity and kindness will endure.

Ruth with her daughters

Ruth is survived by her husband of 68 years, her two daughters Vicki (grandchildren Nick Shadel, Ali and Nate Fisher) and Denise (son in-law Rich Cole and grandchildren, Maddy Day, Luke and Jimmy Cole), and daughter Janet’s two wonderful sons, Geoff Bridgman (granddaughter in-law Patty and great grandchildren Justin and Delaney) and Jonathan Bridgman (granddaughter in-law Jeannie and great granddaughter Ruthie).  Her brother, Robert Funk resides with his wife, Bea in Oregon.

Celebration of Life service will be held on November 2, 2010 at the Normandy Park Cove, 1500 SW Shorebrook Drive, Normandy Park, WA 98166 at 3:30.  In lieu of flowers we ask that contributions be made to Northwest Harvest.

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