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Ruth Little Gatz

1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Ruth Little Gatz Obituary
Ruth Katherine Little Gatz

1926-2016 Ruth Katherine Little Gatz, 89, passed away February 3, 2016 in Long Beach, California after a long illness. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Ellen Gatz Bradway and Jan Bradway of Upland California, her son, Roger Alan Gatz and Shelley O'Neil of Long Beach, California, by three grandchildren and five great grandchildren including Kevin Alan Gatz his wife, Christine, and their two children, Presley and Gavin of Loomis, California, Laura Michelle Gatz Gallagher her husband, Ryan, and their two children Brady and Mason of Roseville, California, and by Melissa Rene Bradway Gall, her husband, Jason, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio and daughter, Olivia Vandergrift of Oak Harbor, Washington. She is also survived by her brother, Walter Albert "Skip" Little and his wife, Paula, of Temecula, California, their daughter Kimberly Anne Little Hilt, her husband, Tim,, of Temecula, California and their two children, Cole, of Temecula, California and Katelyn, of Westminster, Colorado as well as Cole's two son's Chase and Coen also of Temecula, California. She is also survived by one maternal aunt, Evelyn Helen Hess Tyska of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and by many loving cousins. Ruth was predeceased by her husband of almost 63 years, Charles Alan Gatz, by her parents, Albert Henry Little and Rose Emma Hess Little and by over 15 maternal and paternal aunts and uncles. Ruth was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on November 22, 1926 and graduated from Pittsfield High School on June 6, 1944. She had many happy memories of those years, greatly enhanced by the presence of her large extended family living nearby. She also made friends whom she visited and corresponded with for the rest of her life. Ruth recalled the fun of sledding and ice skating in snowy winters and then swimming in Lake Pontoosuc and gathering wild strawberries and blueberries in the summer. She loved to dance and she never tired of listening to music. Ruth traveled to New York City with a friend during World War II and she remembered seeing the musical, Oklahoma, and never forgot how the live music and performances were so beautiful that they gave her "goose bumps"! In March of 1947, Ruth's parents sold the house they had built in Pittsfield, put their furniture into a moving van and packed as much as they could into their Chevrolet to begin a trip across the United States to California. They drove much of Route 66 and saw sites and landscapes that were new to them and even experienced their first Santa Ana wind storm while spending the night in an Arizona motel. The family reached La Crescenta, California where they stayed with relatives while building a new home for them selves. They were living in that new home when the La Crescenta area had a rare snowfall. Ruth remembered residents being very excited about the snow while she was silently hoping that cold winters hadn't followed them out to California from Massachusetts. Ruth met her future husband, Alan, through family friends and they were married on April 23, 1950 in San Gabriel. The newlyweds moved to Pomona, California and began their family, moving in 1966 to Claremont, California and again in the late 1980's to the Mission Viejo area of California. Ruth and Alan were members of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona and also members of the church's "Side by Side" club, making and remaining friends with many members for the rest of their lives. Ruth was very attentive to detail and she used that ability to excel in her handcrafts including knitting, sewing and embroidering, as well as hooking and braiding rugs. She braided one especially large rug measuring about 6 by 12 feet that was used for the next twenty years on the floor of her family room. In her later years she took up quilting and happily created quilted projects for her family while enjoying friends in her quilting club, "The Cabin Quilters". Ruth enjoyed flowers and plants and carefully tended her indoor collection of African violets as well as her camellias, roses and other outside plantings. She loved animals, adored babies, enjoyed reading, solving puzzles and was especially happy not only playing games on her computer but with using email because she found it easier than writing letters by hand. She was involved in the Parent-Teacher's Association (P.T.A.) when her children were younger and always encouraged them to pursue as much education as possible not only in classrooms but through reading all types of books. When Alan retired, he and Ruth began to research their family histories and were eventually able to print out large family trees. In her 89 years Ruth lived as actively as possible even as some of her age-related health problems and surgeries began to feel restricting. Her family was always her greatest love and the more family members who were able to gather together and "just visit", the happier she was. She was especially proud of her children and grandchildren and was always ready to see more of them no matter what else was going on. Ruth said not long ago that she felt she'd had a good life and was lucky to enjoy so many loving family members and friends. Her favorite Bible passage remained Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 which begins, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ruth's time on earth has ended but she loved and was loved by many. She will be remembered and The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff of Rose Garden II and Sacred Heart Hospice of Long Beach for their steady and very patient care. Those of you who visited, wrote, telephoned, sent flowers---your efforts were much appreciated by Ruth and her family. No services are scheduled at this time and any remembrances can be made in her name to or interest.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 27, 2016
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