Ruth Ellen Marken Kromann passed away peacefully May 16, 2012 at Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham, Washington. Ruth was born October 13, 1932 in her maternal grandparents' home town of Salem, Oregon, and grew up in Lake Forest Park, Washington. While attending high school, Ruth served as a life guard on Lake Washington and worked toward her private pilot's license. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in Seattle in 1950, Ruth continued her education at the University of Washington earning Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Geography and being elected to Mortar Board. Ruth was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1955 and used it to study abroad for a year in Denmark. During her time in Denmark, Ruth became fluent in Danish and completed the field research for her Master's degree. She also visited many countries throughout Europe, cementing a lifelong love of travel. On her way back to the United States in September 1956 aboard the ship Bergensfjord, Ruth met her future husband Eg Sten Kromann during life boat drill. Eg was immigrating to the United States from Denmark and they made an instant connection. They were married in Lake Forest Park in January 1957, living first in Olympia, then in the Seattle area and Denmark, before moving to Stanwood, Washington in 1964. Ruth initially worked as a cartographer for the State of Washington and created maps for the Encyclopedia Britannica, before returning to get her teaching certificate. Ruth excelled at math, initially teaching high school math in the Shoreline School District. After moving to Stanwood, Ruth's taught for the Stanwood School District in a lengthy teaching career that included Elementary Special Education, Third Grade, and Fifth Grade. After her retirement in 1990, Ruth enjoyed spending more time with friends and family, maintaining her long standing interests in geology, travel, botany, bird watching, genealogy, folk dancing, and attending the ballet. After 35 years in Stanwood, Ruth moved with her husband to Bellingham, Washington in 1999. While living in the Seattle area, she was member of Scandia and Mountaineers. Later on she became active in the Audubon and Washington Native Plant Societies.
Ruth is survived by daughter Kirsten Pack and son-in-law Allan Pack, of Bellingham, Washington; daughter, Sonja Kromann, of Everett, Washington; grandson, Andrew Pack, his wife Tanya, and their children Aage, Fjola, and Asa; and, granddaughter, Anna Pack DeVille and her husband, Kyle DeVille, all of Seattle, Washington. Ruth is also survived by her brother, Bill Marken, of Hansville, Washington; sister Mary Marsh and Mary's husband Fred of Santa Barbara, California, and their families; and, by the family of her older brother Don Marken. Ruth was preceded in death by Eg, her husband of 53 years, in 2010; her parents Roy Albert Marken and Dorothy Harriet McMelleon Marken; and, her brother Don Marken.
Ruth was dearly loved by her family and friends. She was a kind, generous, and caring person who enjoyed a lifelong love of learning and travel. Through her teaching and her fascination with the world around her, she passed along her enthusiasm for learning and touched many lives. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
Please sign the Book of Memories, light a candle and leave your condolences for the family at
Jerns Funeral Chapel
Published in Bellingham Herald on May 27, 2012