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ERNE, RUTH ERNA Aug. 29, 1935 to May 24, 2012 Ruth was born on August 29, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of German immigrant parents, Manfred and Erna Friedrich, the third of 5 children. The family moved to a farm in Indiana, where at age 10, at a Youth for Christ meeting, Rolling Prairie, Indiana, with Pastor and Mrs. Westfall leading, Ruth put her trust in Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Ruth graduated from Ellston High School, Michigan City, Indiana, and continued her education at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Indiana, where Ruth graduated from nursing school in September 1956. Prior to graduating from nursing school, Ruth met David in April 1956, while caring for David's brother in the hospital. They courted, and with permission of Ruth's father, they were married in November 1956, in La Porte, Indiana. In 1958, David and Ruth packed up and moved to San Diego, CA, where they lived and worked to the present. At age 39, Ruth felt motivated to make a change, so she quit her RN job and went back to school. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from San Diego Mesa College in Psychology, moved on and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of San Diego, in 1979. Ruth was granted "Certificate of Public Health Nurse", July 1979. On to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where Ruth graduated with a degree of Master of Nursing, in March 1983, with advanced training as a Nurse Practitioner. Ruth interned under a great doctor, Dr. Ricardo Sistos, who taught Ruth well. Ruth became a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in 1985. She was a member of "Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing". Soon after graduation, Ruth started her private practice, R.E. Health Clinic, on University Avenue, and soon purchased the property on Lincoln Avenue, where she helped, and loved people, in coping with the physical and spiritual problems of life. Ruth was a pioneer as the first Independent Practice Nurse Practitioner in San Diego. Ruth knew her credentials was as a Master's Family Nurse Practitioner, but to her patients, she was "Dr. Ruth". Ruth had great wisdom, and imparted that wisdom to thousands of patients. Ruth continued her practice until her retirement on February 28, 2006. Ruth also served on the Board of Directors, Christian Heritage College (now San Diego Christian College), and Oakbridge Young Life Camp. Not ready to really retire, Ruth, after inspiration of God during her daily devotions, started her non-profit organization: W.O.W.W. (Women of Wisdom and Worth), a ministry to widows. Ruth loved, and looked after her widows. W.O.W.W. holds free luncheons for the widows, twice a year, Spring, and Christmas. She worked tirelessly preparing for the widow luncheons, so everything would be perfect for the widows. The W.O.W.W. luncheons were a time for the widows to minister to each other; some, a widow for many years, others, a widow for only a few weeks. W.O.W.W. is a self-help group, with chapters in San Diego and Riverside counties, with over 500 widows under its care. In September 2009, Ruth was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer). Ruth, not ready to leave her husband David, or her widows, and friends, waged a brave fight until the end. She ended this earthly life, pain free, and at peace! What a blessing!!! Ruth was married to David for 55 years, and she will be sorely missed. Ruth loved her Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ, and is with Him now! Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park - Bible Mausoleum (Peter). Celebration of Life Service: June 6, 2012, 11 a.m. at Shadow Mountain Community Church, 2100 Greenfield Drive, El Cajon, CA 92019. In lieu of flowers, send gifts to W.O.W.W. (Women of Wisdom and Worth), 8975-117 Lawrence Welk Dr., Escondido, CA 92026.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on June 1, 2012
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