Ruth Kathryn Samuels


image of Ruth Kathryn Samuel

Ruth Kathryn Samuel

Ruth Kathryn Samuels (born Bachar) passed away November 24, 2022 in Renton, WA. She is predeceased by her husband, Donald (a short nine days before her passing), as well as her parents and her brother, Raymond Richard. She is survived by her her sister, Mary Ann, three children, Marian, Helen, and Robert, as well as three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Daughter of Ruth and Raymond, she was born January 27, 1937 in Harvey, Illinois and graduated from Bremen Community High School in 1956.

Moving from the cities of Harvey and then Posen, the family eventually settled in Oak Forest, Illinois, a town Ruth remembers being full of fun activities, especially when the rains came and the swamp down the hill would freeze, allowing ice skating for a block in either direction, and they would light bonfires from old Christmas trees to keep warm. Other activities Ruth enjoyed in Oak Forest included baseball, football, digging foxholes, and sledding. Ruth was an animal lover, befriending dogs, chickens, and geese in her youth. As an adult, she loved to travel and fish.

After graduating high school, Ruth worked in the mail room for Wyman Gordon. Thanksgiving of 1955 would see Ruth meeting Donald, whom she often described as her soul mate, when her brother brought a fellow serviceman home for the holiday feast. They were married in May of 1959 and lived in Harvey, IL until moving to Reno, NV a few months later to further Donald’s education.

During their time in Reno, their first child was born, who required major surgery at the age of 5 months old. Ruth and Don couldn’t afford the surgery, so the Crippled Children’s Fund took care of the entire cost, setting the stage for Ruth’s lifelong cause of community service and commitment to paying back their generosity with volunteer work.

They moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1965 for Donald’s new job at Titanium Metals and, as soon as she was able, Ruth began volunteering at Sunrise Hospital, working first in Radiology and then Reception, plus spending time crafting for charity for the holiday bazaars and making stockings into which holiday babies would be sent home with their parents. 36 years later, in 2009, due to her exemplary commitment to the hospital and her contributions to improve service to the patients and community, she was presented with the Frist Humanitarian Award recognizing Excellence in Volunteerism. This award came with the recognition from two United States Senators. “My mouth dropped and I couldn’t say anything, and that’s unusual for me,” she told a Las Vegas newspaper. She would continue to volunteer for many more years, racking up an impressive 45 years of service.

“It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling to help others,” she said. “You get a hug every once in a while, and you know obviously you’re doing something right.”

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