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
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.