RUDEN, Ada Orton
Ada Orton Ruden died on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in St. Louis, Missouri. Born on November 4, 1911, in Wentworth, South Dakota, she was 102 years old.
She was the third child of John Jamison Orton and Pauline Volby Orton. Her siblings, who all predeceased her, were Helen May Orton, William Alcott Orton, John Jamison Orton, Thomas Eugene Orton, Wayne Alan Orton, Pauline Marie Orton McCormick, and William Addison Orton.
Ada was sweet, kind, and loving. And she was smart. She graduated from Rutland High School in South Dakota in 1927, when she was 15. Then, in 1931, at the age of 19, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern State Teachers College (now Dakota State University) in Madison, South Dakota. She hoped to teach mathematics, but because the teaching of math was then considered a 'male' prerogative, she settled for English instead. Teaching first at Rutland High School, and then at Hurley High, also in South Dakota, she spent her summers pursuing post-graduate studies in English and American literature at the University of Minnesota.
In Hurley, she met Ernest Berg Ruden. They were married on June 15, 1937, in Los Angeles, California.
The couple subsequently moved to Sacramento, where Ada gave birth to two children, John Elliott and Randi Diane. She became a full-time wife and mother who gave herself completely to her family. She was a supremely nurturing caregiver, an outstanding cook and an excellent seamstress. She was a Brownie and Scout leader. She was President of the PTA at Phoebe Hearst School and was then honored as a life member. Always involved in her children's education, she participated in every school event imaginable. She taught her children as much, and probably more, than their more formal teachers did.
When her children were older, she enrolled in Education courses at Sacramento State so as to qualify as a substitute teacher in the Sacramento Unified School District. She taught English and Math and eventually more Math than English - at both the Junior High and Senior High School levels. She was always in great demand: teachers regularly requested that she be their substitute.
In 1975 she lost her husband. She then lived independently in her own home until 2006, when she began living with her daughter and son-in-law, sometimes in California and sometimes in Missouri. She braved many arduous car trips across the country, never once complaining.
She stayed active and sharp until the very end of her life. Three days before she died, she was talking on her cell phone to her son. She was still reading her Kindle.
Survivors include her children and their partners, Darrell Corti and Steven Krantz. She leaves behind as well Gussie Cockatiel and Hypatia Cockatoo. Many nephews and nieces also remain, one of whom, Roger Orton, lived with her while attending Sacramento City College.
Services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, at the East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, California. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to the
East Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries
43rd Street and Folsom Boulevard Sacramento, CA 95819
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Mar. 11, 2014