Ruthe Lyons Ramirez died peacefully on Jan. 31st after a long struggle with cancer. Her last days were spent in the Peace Island Hospital surrounded by loving family and friends.
Ruthe is survived by her children and their families; Shelle and Ellis Cropper of Friday Harbor, Becky and Peter Kilpatrick Of Friday Harbor; Kim and Dorothy Lyons of Olympia and Katie and Ted Dillery of Friday Harbor, her daughter-in-law Rhonda Lyons and her grandchildren Isla and Sky Cropper, Madeline and Adrian Kilpatrick, Hillary and Drew Lyons and Madison, Sophia and Ben Dillery and her brother Rob Lewis of Mercer Island. She was predeceased by her children’s father, John Lyons and her husband Robert Ramirez, her son Bill Lyons, her parents Ruth and Porter Lewis, her aunt and uncle, Bill and Adelaide Kimball and her sister Mary Lewis Blair.
Ruthe was born in Seattle on March 19th, 1930. She spent the first 10 years of her life in the Greenlake district of Seattle and on the Olympic Peninsula. Her parents then moved the family to Mercer Island. She attended Bellevue High School and the University of Washington. She joined her Aunt Alice in Hawaii before marrying John Lyons. She raised her children on Mercer Island before moving to San Juan Island in the 1980’s.
From the time her daughters were young, Ruthe was active in girl scouts. She was a co-leader and volunteered at a Girl Scout day camp in Issaquah, Washington, where she was known to multiple years of campers as “Crafty”. She enjoyed silk screen design and made her own Christmas cards for many years. She loved cooking and followed Julia Child, reproducing many of her signature dishes. She subscribed to Gourmet magazine and wall papered her kitchen with the iconic covers. She enjoyed kayaking and had a river kayak and an ocean kayak. She loved being on the water and enjoyed wonderful trips through the San Juan and Gulf Islands. Ruthe spent many winters in Mexico. She loved the little town of Santiago on Manzanillo Bay and has many friends there.
If there could be a posthumous award for lifetime volunteer in multiple venues, Ruthe would be overly qualified. She volunteered at St. Francis Catholic Church in many capacities including Eucharistic minister and in the women’s guild. She brought cookies and conversation to the residents at the Life Care Center of the San Juan’s, two or three times a week. She enjoyed showing tourists and residents the house and grounds at the Historical Museum. She volunteered for Hospice of San Juan Island and helped out at the Mullis Center breakfasts. Every time someone helped her, whether it was the people loading the ferry or the doctors at the cancer care facility or the guy who put air in her car’s tires, she brought them cookies, See’s candy, donuts or a couple jars of jam. It will take many members of our community to fill the gap she has left.
Last but not least, Ruthe left behind friends who loved her. There are so many people who helped her through the ordeal of doctors, hospitals and procedures these last couple of years. She loved and depended on all of you. The family wants to thank each of you and the nurses at Peace Island Hospital, who made her last days so peaceful.
There will be a celebration of her life at The Brickworks on Saturday, February 20th at 1 o’clock.